Restroom Prejudice

Restroom Prejudice

2015 | Week of December 7 | #1127

I’ve been doing this work long enough now that sometimes I really think I’ve heard it all. However, each time I figure I can no longer be surprised, I am.

A week before Thanksgiving, the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Education held a public hearing on the Student Privacy Protection bill, Assembly Bill 469.

The current wording of the bill requires school districts to designate restrooms and changing rooms for one sex only and further requires that students use the facilities that correspond with their biologic sex. Students who wish to use a single-occupancy facility may request to do so, and the school must accommodate that request. The bill does not restrict such requests to students who claim they are transgendered.  The accommodation would be available to any student for any reason. The requirements and the accommodation truly address the privacy rights of all students, not just a select few.

This bill was the only one on the agenda. When I got to the room, I knew we were in for an interesting day.  Seated in the room and milling around outside were a lot of teen agers and college-aged young people.  Their hair colors and hair styles and dress were the most obvious sign of their confusion. Looking more closely, I realized the vast majority of these youth would define themselves as “transgendered.”

I learned later that most of the high-school-aged students were from Madison East High School and that at least one UW Madison professor had offered extra credit to students who would attend the hearing and speak against the bill. Frankly, I believe Fair Wisconsin, the pro-LGBTQ advocacy organization, exploited these students, especially the high-school students many of whom must have missed most if not the entire day of school to be at the hearing.

It was a long day of person after person testifying either in favor or in opposition to the bill. I heard young people say things such as, “I am not transgendered male. I wish you would stop using that term. I am transgendered non-binary.”  Another pronounced in a very haughty way, “My pronouns are not he or she or him or her. They are me, my, mine, they and their.”  I found myself responding not in shock or surprise to the students, but in profound sadness that at such young ages they had already been taken captive by lies.

The shock and surprise for the day was a man who said he was a member of the Janesville School Board and was totally opposed to the bill. He informed the committee that all prejudice is learned, and any child who is uncomfortable being in a restroom or locker room with someone of the opposite sex was prejudiced.  An astute committee member asked this gentleman, “So you are saying that if a young girl is uncomfortable being undressed in a locker room with a boy, she is prejudiced?” The response: “Yes, I believe all prejudice is learned.”

Please understand what this school board member was saying. Anyone who believes in modesty and isn’t comfortable being in locker rooms or restrooms with members of the opposite sex is prejudiced. We’re no longer just prudish or old-fashioned; we’re now moving into the area of bigotry which moves us closer to hate crimes for objecting.

Most children have an innate sense of modesty, and I believe that is God-given. Astute parents reinforce that innate sense for the well-being and safety of their child, especially in places such as restrooms and locker rooms. Such reinforcement isn’t prejudice. It’s common-sense and safety-sense.  But not so according to this school board member.

While no other school official cited prejudice, several testified against the bill saying students who aren’t transgendered should either get over their discomfort, or they should be the ones to use the single-occupancy restroom. The transgendered student shouldn’t be subjected to such discrimination.

I came away from the hearing shaking my head in disbelief that we have come so far down this road so quickly. Ten years ago I was sitting in hearings in support of Wisconsin’s Marriage Protection Amendment with people telling me we would never have same-sex marriage in Wisconsin, and I should be ashamed of myself for fear-mongering.

I wasn’t fear-mongering then, and I’m not now. You can’t make up what we heard in that hearing. Check it out for yourself on Wisconsin Eye – click HERE. I can’t say it any more clearly than to say it this way. Parents, please pay attention. Your child’s well-being is very much at stake.

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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