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ACLU files complaints with Dept. of Education against Frisco, Keller ISD policies

The ACLU claims the policy changes not only harm students but violate federal law and is asking the Office for Civil Rights to investigate.

DALLAS — The American Civil Liberties Union is condemning several North Texas school districts' controversial policies in two complaints filed Monday. 

The complaints were filed with the Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in response to policies implemented at both Keller and Frisco Independent School Districts.

Earlier this month, trustees at Frisco ISD unanimously approved a policy that would require students to use bathrooms corresponding to their biological sex. 

Board members voted to approve the policy 7-0 during the Nov. 14 meeting. 

The policy, however, explicitly states that it would not prohibit the district from making accommodations for students or parents upon request. 

The board also approved new library book policies in connection to book that are being reviewed or challenged due to their content districtwide. 

"Even though Frisco ISD’s policy only applies to multi-user restrooms, federal appeals court decisions in this area recognize the deeply harmful effects of forcing transgender students to use separate restrooms from their peers, even when those restrooms are single-user facilities," the ACLU said in its complaint. 

Keller ISD banned books that mentioned gender fluidity in order to "protect children from sexually explicit age-inappropriate material." The board passed the measure during the Nov. 14 meeting, 4-2. 

“I do trust librarians. I trust our teachers and I wanted to know that I don’t have to look at this list but here I am finding multiple books that unfortunately are part of the LGBTQ community,” school board member Joni Shaw Smith said in the meeting.

The new Keller ISD policy is an update to a "rubric" for books that it created in August with guides for what grade could read books with topics like alcohol, drug use and kissing. 

The ACLU said the policy has "engaged in sex discrimination against transgender, non-binary, gender diverse, and intersex students in violation of Title IX." 

The ACLU claims those changes not only harm students but violate federal law and is asking the Office for Civil Rights to investigate.

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