“We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick responded Friday.

WASHINGTON,  (UPI) — Several critics across the nation revolted Friday to the Obama administration’s directive to allow all transgender students at schools nationwide to choose whichever bathroom they are most comfortable with.

The new guidelines, issued by the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, come after a law passed in North Carolina required all transgender people to use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth — not the gender they presently identify with.

In addition to the bathroom directive, the government said public schools should also protect such students from bullying.

It didn’t take long Friday for opponents to respond with criticism — and even defiance.

“He says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in response Friday. “Well, in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.

“I believe it is the biggest issue facing families and schools in America since prayer was taken out of public schools.”

“I spoke about how we are taking a stand against liberals’ attempts to let boys into girls’ restrooms,” he added in a post to his Facebook page. “Less than 24 hours later, President Obama ‘urged’ schools across the country to support this outrageous policy under threat of losing federal funds.”

Hours earlier, Patrick linked to an online petition with the message, “Join thousands of Texans in standing up against Obama’s attack on Texas values.”

Friday’s critics, though, are not just conservative politicians.

“Saying that students are allowed to use the locker room that aligns with their gender identity changes the way schools do business,” Jeanne Allen, founder of the Center for Education Reform, said. “Schools have to spend time, money, resources and people working on something that has absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of school.”

“I don’t believe our board will change its mind,” Marion County (Fla.) School District spokesman Kevin Christian said of the government’s directive, which is in direct conflict with a district policy change last month that requires students to use bathrooms consistent with their sex at birth.

In addition to the directive, the Education and Justice departments simultaneously warned schools against discriminating against transgender students. They issued joint guidance to school districts, colleges and universities in a bid to ensure that all students, regardless of sexual orientation, “can enjoy a safe and discrimination-free environment.”

They also made it clear that under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, schools receiving federal money may not discriminate based on a student’s gender. As far as both federal agencies are concerned, this is determined by the gender identity a student gives to him or herself.