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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The head of the Fort Worth Southern Christian Leadership Conference is asking a state agency to look into how the Fort Worth school district conducted a public meeting to hear reaction to now controversial district policies regarding the treatment of transgender students.
The Reverend Kyev Tatum is asking the Texas Education Agency to look into what happened at the meeting, which he was kicked of. “We’ve got to allow for open discussion and dialogue,” Tatum said. “And allow us to put our concerns out on the table.”
The SCLC leader said he warned the school board it did not allow enough time to hear from everyone who wanted to weigh in on transgender restrooms. And Tatum wanted his voice against the policy to be heard. “I sent a message to each one of them, through Facebook and through the school district, that if you do not allow me to speak I will engage in civil disobedience,” Tatum said. “And they sent a police officer to me and they said ‘I read your message.’ I said it wasn’t a threat it was a promise.”
“This is a mockery of democracy!” Tatum shouted as officers removed him from the meeting.
Tatum was escorted from the meeting because the district didn’t want him to speak about his views against giving transgender students access to whichever gender bathroom they were most comfortable in. A district representative said Tatum was removed because he was interrupting other speakers. Tatum sent his complaint about the treatment to the commissioner of the TEA last night in an email.”
“They really need to sanction them and tell them that you cannot subvert the will of the people by not allowing them to speak,” Tatum said.
The debate is so heated the conversation is entered some classrooms today. Students said that until now transgender policies never even crossed their minds.
“Last night my mom was talking about it,” said Arlington Heights High School student Courtland Wheaton. “And she was like ‘do you know they have a transgender bathroom where everyone is using the same restroom?’ And I said, ‘well I wouldn’t want to use the restroom next to a boy because of my privacy.’ ”
“It’s a big distraction because teachers are talking about it, students are talking about it during class time,” said classmate Zoe Wipperfurth. “So, it’s kind of distracting all of us. And it’s been a big topic today.”
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