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URGENT: Sign the petition demanding that Obama repeal his extreme transgender mandate. Click here.

AUSTIN, May 13, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Don't mess with Texas. The state has had an independent streak since the days when it was an independent nation in 1845, and they don't appear ready to cotton to new federal guidelines that all public schools must allow biological males who say they are transgender to use the girls' showers and locker rooms.

In a defiant press conference, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said today the state would refuse federal funding before putting its children at risk.

“We will not be blackmailed by the president's 30 pieces of silver,” Lt. Gov. Patrick said.

He said the policy, if adopted, “will be the end of public education.”

“People will pull their kids out” of unsafe schools, he said. “Homeschooling will explode. Private schools will increase. School choice will pass.”

“I believe it is the biggest issue facing America since prayer was taken out of schools,” Lt. Gov. Patrick added.

URGENT: Sign the petition demanding that Obama repeal his extreme transgender mandate. Click here.

He added that, if necessary, the state of Texas will make up the roughly $10 billion a year it gets from the federal government rather than compromise student safety.

The majority of federal funding, he said, goes to provide free breakfast and lunch to underprivileged students. “He's taking money from the poorest of the poor,” he said.

Responding to his comments, White House spokesman Josh Earnest dismissed Patrick as nothing more than a “right-wing radio host.”

But pro-family leaders say the lieutenant governor's example is one to follow.

“Parents should demand that school boards not sacrifice the safety of the children out of fear of losing federal funding, which on average only amounts to about nine cents of every educational dollar. It is also time for the Republican leadership in Congress to act and rein in this administration,” said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins. “The president's decree should be resisted with every legal and moral instrument we have available to us in this country.”