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In-Depth: CPS worker says 'I quit' after Abbott's order to investigate parents of transgender youth

Posted at 2:59 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 20:28:47-04

WACO, Texas — Workers from Texas Child Protective Services are walking out on the job after an order came down from Gov. Greg Abbott to investigate families of transgender youth for child abuse.

Catch up: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered agencies to investigate gender-affirming care for transgender kids as child abuse.

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In-Depth: CPS worker says 'I quit' after Abbott's order to investigate parents of transgender youth

"I can not get you medical care, I can not get you psychiatric care, or you will be like this, said Kelly Davis in a 25 News Interview who has recently put his notice in at CPS.

Kelly Morgan Davis gave notice of his resignation on April 4. “If this is the hill I go out on, I’m proud to do it,” Davis said. Credit:
Lauren Witte/The Texas Tribune

Kelly Davis, a transgender man, worked for the Texas’ child welfare agency as an investigator.

One of the first cases under an order to investigate parents of transgender children was placed on Davis's desk.

"It seems that the only reason was that single word, Trans," said Davis.

Davis who is still on the job trying to finish his caseload says he was part of a four-person team and as of Friday he'll be the only one left with his last Day in May.

"A staff that is dedicated but they are running on fumes," said Davis.

Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a primary night event Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Corpus Christi, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Even before Abbott’s order, Texas had a difficult time handling cases of child abuse, neglect and removal.

In 2015, Texas CPS received a slap in the face when U.S. District Judge Janis Jack said Texas was violating the constitutional rights of foster children, “often age out of care more damaged than when they entered.”

In this July 4, 2008 photo, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack administer the U.S. oath of citizenship to more than 100 area residents representing 25 countries aboard the USS Lexington. The federal judge who ruled that Texas' foster care system is unconstitutionally broken has been named The Dallas Morning News' Texan of the Year. The newspaper announced Friday, Dec. 23, 2016, that Jack was being recognized because she "punctured our comfortable obliviousness to the appalling treatment" being endured by the 12,000 children labeled permanent wards of the state. (Todd Yates/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
Todd Yates /AP

There had been a promise that Texas Child Protective Services would reform.

“It looks like we’re just going from bad to worse,” Jack said to the Texas Tribune.

Davis says there was a case where the parents were notified on a Friday by Sunday they left the State for Colorado.

"I took on this job because I truly believed that we were protecting children," said Davis.

The Texas AG's office has defended the order, Paxton issued his opinion saying that gender-affirming care for minors could be considered child abuse.

Since then, Paxton was flagged by Twitter after Assistant Secretary Health Rachel Levine, who is a transgender woman, called her a man after she was named one of USA Today’s “Women of the Year.”

For simply saying this matter-of-factly, Twitter blocked it as "hateful." Users can now only access my statement through a trigger-warning filter. And even then, users can neither like it nor comment on it. At the same time, hundreds of other verified accounts saying the exact same thing remain untouched and unfiltered.

Attorney General Ken Paxton

Paxton called it 'Big Tech censorship' and that he follow the science.

"But Big Tech is not only anti-conservative and anti-Republican. It is now apparently anti-truth and anti-science. I will continue to use all my power to hold them accountable. Even now, I'm exploring legal options to stop their one-sided censorship," said Paxton.

Davis hope's he's not right but believes this is political and a way to get votes.

"I've been doing my job very quietly until it was time to hand my badge in," said Davis.