AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas' lieutenant governor is encouraging the state's 1,200 school districts to ignore an Obama administrative directive over bathroom rights for transgender students.

Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday the state will support schools that don't allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Texas and 10 other states sued the federal government last week over the federal directive handed down to U.S. public schools earlier this month.

Several parents of transgender students gathered at the Texas Capitol Tuesday to criticize Republican leaders including Patrick, who say the bathroom directive puts other students at risk.

Patrick has previously said Texas is willing to forego billions of dollars in federal education funding rather than comply.