Texas Lt. Governor defends bathroom laws but did nothing for the 171 children who died of abuse in one year

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, who vehemently opposes transgender people using public bathrooms that they identify with, presided for over a year in which 171 children died of abuse and neglect in his state.

A federal judge declared that Texas failed neglected children by medicating them “instead of addressing their trauma.” The court also stated officials routinely ignored signs of sexual abuse for years while placing children in the care of overworked caseworkers.

According to The Star Telegram, Patrick claimed that the transgender bathroom issue is a priority of the “highest order,” and he opposes Fort Worth’s school policy that allows transgender students to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. The policy also puts into action protections that shield LGBT kids from bullying, harassment and even physical harm.

Patrick has no direct authority over local school policies, but he is responsible for Texas’s Child Protective Services and the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The Telegram reports that Texas has more than 108,000 confirmed cases of child abuse, to which “Patrick held no press conferences. There’s no public statement on his website. He waved no banner for their well-being.”

This year 4-year-old Leiliana Wright of Grand Prairie was tied by her wrists, choked, left in a closet and slammed into a wall until she was fatally injured. Her abuse had been reported to CPS months before.

Yet, the lieutenant governor was silent.

Last year, two-year-old Adrian Langlais of Fort Worth was brutally beaten to death. Again, a few months earlier, CPS had been sent pictures of bruises all over his body.

The lieutenant governor chose not to weigh in.

Texas has more than 108,000 confirmed cases of abused and neglected children. Dan Patrick hasn’t mentioned that figure. He’s more obsessed with the figures that move in and out of bathrooms without anybody noticing.

“We will not back down from blackmail by the president of the United States,” Patrick said at the GOP convention in Dallas. He also said that Fort Worth schools Superintendent Kent Scribner has overstepped his authority by “forcing girls showering with boys” and allowing both in girls’ restrooms.

“There is no compromise on this issue,” Patrick said. “This is a modern day come-and-take-it issue and the president of the United States, like the superintendent of Fort Worth, is not coming and taking our children.”

Watch Patrick’s interview with Fox’s Megyn Kelly, via Media Matters:

Featured image: The Daily Texan (Flickr)

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