While Wisconsin could once again wade into the debate over which bathrooms transgender students use in schools, a top Republican in the state Assembly backs school districts making the decision.
State Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) introduced a bill last session that would have required students to use the bathroom that matches their biological sex, rather than the gender they identify with. While the bill failed to advance beyond a committee hearing, Kremer said earlier this year that he plans to reintroduce the measure next session.
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) believes the legislation is unnecessary now, since a federal Title IX policy that prompted it is likely to go away under President-elect Donald Trump, a Republican. That policy directed schools to allow students to use the bathroom that matches the gender they identify with, even if it’s not the same as their biological sex.
With that “executive overreach” gone, Vos thinks school districts will once again be able to set their own policies. “If Madison wants to do it one way, and McFarland wants to do it another, I think they should have each the right to decide for themselves and their students,” Vos said.
North Carolina lawmakers this week indicated they plan to repeal a wider ban on the use of bathrooms by transgender individuals in public places, following a strong public backlash and economic losses suffered by the state. Vos indicated he doesn’t see a need for a similar measure in Wisconsin. “I think human beings are smart enough themselves, without government telling them how to do it, to figure out which restroom they should use and a proper way to make sure that we protect our kids.”