On April 29, 2022, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed House Bill 2161 into law expanding parental rights in education. On January 25, 2022, the Arizona House of Representatives discussed the bill at a committee meeting. Liberty Elementary School District No. 25 board member Paul Bixler spoke at this meeting against the bill. [Time Stamp: 1:50:00] Bixler explained that “I am also a transgendered woman.” Bixler stated:
As you consider this legislation that moves forward, keep in mind that not only does it unfairly put health and mental care professionals at personal [and] physical risk, it also makes any opportunity for many of our most vulnerable youth to find the help that they need at their most critical time. When you threaten a child’s disclosure with exposure, those children will continue to question but will not seek the highly qualified individuals that could assist them. Threatening dedicated trained caregivers with litigation also threatens the welfare of the children within that student population.
Liberty Elementary School District No. 25 is a district predominantly for elementary schools. On March 30, 2022, Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1165 into law that restricted schools to only allow students to participate on sports teams that align with their biological sex. On September 26, 2022, Bixler called Arizona’s law “unconstitutional” in a Board meeting for the district. [Time Stamp: 39:00] On that same day, the Board adopted policy JJIA for “intramural sports.” Bixler explained that the policy contained the so-called “unconstitutional” language from the Arizona law and could not support the policy.
Policy JJIA states that “athletic teams or sports designated for ‘females,’ ‘women’ or ‘girls’ may not be open to students of the male sex.”
On November 19, 2021, the organization “Arizona List” promoted Paul Bixler “in honor of Transgender Awareness Week” on Twitter. The post included an image that stated: “Paul Bixler is the first elected transgender woman in Arizona. After more than thirty years as a public school, classroom teacher, guidance counselor, coach, building and central office administrator, she retired in the teacher retirement system of Texas in 2009. Paul Bixler was elected to the Liberty Elementary School Board in 2020.” The Twitter bio of Arizona List explains that the organization “is a grassroots member network that recruits, mentors, and helps elect Democratic, pro-choice women in Arizona.”