Texas GOP raises funds on school district’s gender and racial rules

A Texas Republican Party webpage includes a donation link promoting the Grapevine-Colleyville School District's recently approved rules for library books, gender identity, and critical race theory.

A Texas Republican Party webpage includes a donation link promoting the Grapevine-Colleyville School District’s recently approved rules for library books, gender identity, and critical race theory.

The Texas Republican Party is raising money on policies recently approved by the Grapevine-Colleyville School District regarding gender identity, critical race theory, and library book review.

The school board voted Aug. 4-3, 22 to adopt a series of policies that would provide greater oversight of library materials, limit discussions of gender identity, and ban the teaching of critical race theory.

Days after the meeting, the Texas GOP began highlighting the district’s actions and said it was working to bring “that conservative policy” to each of the state’s more than 1,000 school districts.

Grapevine-Colleyville ISD is the ONLY school district in the state that has passed a policy on CRT, real pronouns, bathroom access, and removing pornography from libraries,” an online fundraising post read.

“We are fighting to save Texas students from woke propaganda in schools,” the email read. “Providing conservative leadership at the school board level to ban CRT classes, get rid of nonsense ‘fluid’ pronouns, and protect young Texans from inappropriate and pornographic books is essential. Can we count on you to contribute to the fight today?

In a statement Tuesday, Texas GOP Chairman Matt Rinaldi said “schools should be focused on teaching academics and not promoting liberal ideology, and parents have a right to know what is taught in class.

Asked about state party fundraising outside of district policies, the Grapevine-Colleyville School District in a statement did not directly weigh in.

“While we recognize that there is an increase in conversations regarding politics, we remain focused on preparing, motivating and encouraging all students to reach their full potential in every classroom in our school district,” says the press release.

North Texas school districts have been at the center of debates over teaching ‘critical race theory’ – which educators say is not taught in Texas elementary schools – gender identity and the relevance of reading materials.

In addition to procedures related to the selection and review of library books and instructional materials, Grapevine-Colleyville policies include measures that designate bathrooms and locker rooms to be used “only by persons in based on the person’s biological sex.

The policies also prohibit the teaching of topics related to sexual orientation or gender identity to students under sixth grade and prohibit the teaching of the 1619 Project and critical race theory.

The district’s policies come after Texas lawmakers passed legislation limiting how race is taught in schools and after Texas Governor Greg Abbott in November ordered officials to create standards “to prevent the presence of pornography and other obscene content in Texas public schools, including school libraries.”

Texas Democratic President Gilberto Hinojosa was not surprised that the state’s Republican Party was raising money on district policies.

“It’s not just culture wars,” he said. “These are racist culture wars…and they’re bigoted culture wars in the sense that they’re trying to erase, you know, 300 years of history and create a problem that doesn’t exist.”

This story was originally published August 30, 2022 1:15 p.m.