Two Republican state lawmakers say a bill to keep transgender students out of public school restrooms and changing rooms would reinforce “societal norms.”
Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) and Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) are seeking co-sponsors for a bill that would require public schools to label restrooms and locker rooms as “male” and “female,” in accordance with the chromosones they were born with. Transgender students could still use one-stall restrooms, but their parents would have to ask for it in writing.
Kremer said he drafted the bill after a transgender student began using the boys’ room at Kewaskum High School. Others objected, and the student was eventually allowed to use a faculty restroom.
Governor Scott Walker was asked about the bill Thursday at Stoughton High School. “I think it’s important to have some clarity about that, and I know school districts across the state have just begun to deal with that,” Walker said.
Megin McDonell of Fair Wisconsin said the proposal would undo a lot of progress that’s been made in schools. “This bill would threaten the kind of advances that school boards all across Wisconsin and all across the country have been doing, that are very thoughtful and comprehensive, and protect all students,”
McDonell said. Brian Juchems of the advocacy group “G-Safe” said the bill could open some transgender students to harassment or assaults. More than 60 Wisconsin school districts have anti-discrimination policies in support of transgender students.
“I think, in respect to all the other students, there has to be some clarity,” Walker said.