Protecting the Privacy Rights of ALL Students

Protecting the Privacy Rights of ALL Students

2015 | Week of October 12 | #1119

The blow-back began almost before the bill was circulated for co-sponsors. Within a matter of hours, news outlets were calling asking for statements and editors were preparing their op-eds. Shortly thereafter, the mean-spirited tweets started and legislators were receiving emails telling them if they support the bill they are hateful, ignorant and bigoted.

The culprit in this is a bill that requires Wisconsin public schools to designate gender-specific restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms and require that students use the facilities based on their biological sex, not a gender they claim to “identify with.”

Rep. Jesse Kremer, a Republican from Kewaskum, and Senator Steve Nass, a Republican from Whitewater, introduced this bill known as the Student Privacy Protection bill. The goal is to respect the privacy of all students in a school, not just a select few.

While the bill requires students to use facilities based on their biological sex, as defined by their chromosomes and reproductive organs, it also requires that schools make available to students who identify as the opposite sex, single-occupancy facilities, whether that be a designated public facility or faculty/staff facility.  By making this accommodation, the privacy rights of all students are respected.

While there may not be many students who identify as transgender, all it takes is one situation where a boy who identifies as a girl or a girl who identifies as a boy is in the wrong place at the wrong time, to, at a minimum, violate the privacy and innocence, and dramatically affect the emotions of the unsuspecting student.

The argument is being made that to not allow boys who identify as girls and girls who identify as boys to use the restrooms, locker rooms and changing rooms of the gender they identify with is discriminatory and harmful to these students. They shouldn’t be asked to use a single-occupancy facility, or a faculty-staff facility. That would be demeaning, inconvenient, and so on.

These folks go so far as to say that the ones who should be inconvenienced are those narrow-minded, bigoted, uneducated, I’ll call them “normal” students, who are offended and traumatized when a member of the opposite sex is in their restroom, locker room or changing room.

Some have said this bill could cause school districts to spend money they don’t have to comply with the single-occupancy facility. To that I respond, first, many schools today, especially newer ones, already have single-occupancy restrooms. Second, schools spend a lot of money on many other things that I would consider far less important than this requirement. Third, all schools that I have ever known have a single-occupancy faculty-staff restroom that would meet the requirements of this bill.

Stories are beginning to surface of students from elementary level up being confronted in very private situations with students of the opposite sex. In at least one case, the trauma was so bad the parents had to take the student out of the public school and put the child in private school. I’ve dealt with parents and grandparents who are distraught over this issue.

This isn’t science fiction; it’s real. The push to normalize transgenderism is the next natural step for the LGBTQ crowd—that’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning. Part of that push will be to make those of us who oppose this appear to be ignorant, hateful, bigoted, and not normal, while the transgenders are the ones who are normal and need protection.

As Christians we dare not succumb to this way of thinking. It’s wrong, it’s dangerous for the children who are being pushed and encouraged by adults into this gender confusion. It’s dangerous for the children who are normal and whose privacy is being threatened. Respecting God-given gender differences is good; it’s right. It’s good for all of us; not just some of us.

The bill in question will help to restore some measure of common sense to this issue, assuming our legislators don’t fall prey to the emotionally-laden stories they will hear from those who claim their children—or they themselves—are transgendered and are being treated cruelly. This bill does not treat anyone cruelly. It respects the privacy rights of all students—which is exactly what should be done.

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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