Transgender Bathroom Suit Hearing Today, Tuberculosis Testing at South AL Auto Plant

Aug 12, 2016

Alabama is joining eleven other states today to ask a federal judge to block the implementation of a federal directive on bathroom rights for transgender students in public schools.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas is considering a preliminary injunction that would keep the new directive from being enforced. That means schools across the country wouldn’t have to worry about complying for now.

Back in May, the Obama administration told U.S. public schools that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms, locker rooms and other facilities that correspond to their gender identity. Schools that don’t comply would be in danger of losing federal funding.

In response, the state of Alabama filed suit along with eleven other states to prevent the directive from being enforced. State attorneys argue they shouldn’t be at risk of losing education money over what they call a massive social experiment.

Today’s hearing will begin at 10:30 a.m. in Fort Worth, Texas.

Workers at a south Alabama auto parts plant are waiting to hear from the state health department. APR’s Pat Duggins says tests were done after one staff member was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

Hospital officials in Enterprise notified the Alabama Department of Public Health that one of their patients had tested positive for tuberculosis. This person works at HS Automotive U.S.A. in a department with about two hundred co-workers. That prompted the state to conduct tests to see if anyone else had contracted the potentially fatal disease. Those test results are due out today.

A TB screening program was prompted in the Dothan area after two cases were confirmed at one, possibly two, local nightclubs. More than two dozen people volunteered for free TB tests.

The automotive parts factory under scrutiny produces rubber hoses for automobile brakes, air conditioning, and power steering systems.

Many of Alabama’s children will be focusing on handwriting as they return to school.

The state legislature passed a law requiring kids to learn to write in cursive by the third grade. This comes after numerous reports of teachers failing to comply with the state’s lesson plan to teach cursive early on in school.

Melisa Valdez-Hubert is the Public Information Director for the Alabama Department of Education. She says it is now each teacher’s responsibility to make sure they follow the standards set by the department.

“It’s an accountability on the school system ensure that their teachers are teaching cursive writing and following the standards that are in the course of study for English/Language Arts. The teachers can teach; that doesn’t mean that students always learn at the same rate. This new law just adds accountability in.”

Valdez-Hubert says it’s important for students to learn cursive so they can learn how to properly sign their name and to read documents written in cursive, like the U.S. Constitution.