MADISON, Wis. – State Rep. Jesse Kremer knows he could be setting Wisconsin up for a legal showdown with the federal government over transgender restroom and locker room policies in public schools.
And he would be more than happy to have that fight.
Kremer has introduced legislation that would force schools to designate all student restrooms and shower facilities for single gender use, based on a student’s actual physical gender. Biological boys would use boys’ facilities and biological girls would use girls’ facilities.
Schools would be legally compelled to create alternative accommodations for transgender students who express discomfort with the restroom/shower policy.
Of course such a law would be in conflict with a directive sent out last year by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, telling schools they are legally obligated to allow transgender students to use the restrooms or showers of their choice.
Kremer believes a separate and contrary state law would give Wisconsin’s public schools a solid legal platform if they choose to defy the federal government. And if it all results in a legal battle, Kremer believes his side would win.
He doesn’t believe there is any federal law that gives boys the right to use girls’ restrooms in public schools, or vice versa.
“Sure, let’s take it all the way to the Supreme Court,” Kremer, a freshman member of the Wisconsin state Assembly, told EAGnews.
“The problem is that the Obama administration has sent a letter to school districts telling them they may be in violation of Title IX (which prohibits sex discrimination in schools) if they don’t do this, and school districts are just accepting it hook, line and sinker.
“By coming up with a statewide policy we as a state would have to defend it. We’ve been in touch with the state Attorney General’s office, and they say they’re ready to defend it. And we’ve been told by the legislative legal counsel to expect a constitutional challenge if it becomes law.”
Kremer said he’s seen mixed reactions from school districts around Wisconsin regarding the federal transgender directive. But he believes many districts would be happy with the legal shelter provided by a state law.
“There is a district in south-central Wisconsin, near Madison in a pretty liberal area, and their state representative told me they want this bill – they want this matter out of their hands.
“I honestly believe the majority of school district officials in the state, even though many don’t want to comment on this issue and stir up the hornet’s nest, see the validity (of the proposed legislation).”
A legal battle over transgender school policy is probably unavoidable in the long run, according to Kremer, because the issue is very important to ideological progressives who want to plant their radical ideas in the minds of young students.
But schools are no places for socio/political wars, and children should not be caught in the crossfire, Kremer said.
“The reason they are starting in schools is so they can indoctrinate our kids,” Kremer said. “They want kids to start thinking of these types of things as social norms, and those kids will grow up to be the voting public.
“This is a means to an end.”
Kremer said he first became aware of the issue in his hometown school district of Kewaskum, where a biological female student started using the boys restrooms. A group of boys complained to school administrators and the transgender student was directed to use staff facilities.
While Kremer thinks it’s important for schools to accommodate transgender kids who experience comfort issues, he believes it’s wrong to ask the vast majority of students to sacrifice their privacy and sense of morality by sharing restrooms and showers with the opposite sex.
“They want to put the burden on traditional students,” he said. “If they’re uncomfortable (with open restrooms and showers) they would have to be the ones asking for special accommodations. I think that’s absolutely absurd.”
Parental rights are also violated, particularly when very young students are forced into common facilities with the opposite gender.
“It should be up to parents to decide when their kids should discover anatomical differences between males and females, not up to the schools,” he said.
Kremer believes student safety is best served by having separate facilities for males and females. Students of either sex – transgender or not – could be facing higher risks of assault when schools start allowing mixed gender restrooms and shower rooms, he said.
“I’m not trying to say that transgender people are sexual predators, but if my daughters encounter a male in a public restroom they need to get out of there,” he said. “That male could be a decent person or a sexual deviant. You just don’t know.”
Kremer said his bill, which has yet to be assigned a number, will very likely get a hearing before the state Assembly’s Education Committee. He also noted that Gov. Scott Walker has expressed interest in the legislation.
“He did weigh in on it, saying it’s an issue and concern,” Kremer said. “I guess that’s something of a positive sign out of his office.”
Kremer said he’s not sure if the bill would have the support to make it to full Assembly for a vote, regardless of the Republican majority.
“It might have issues getting to the floor,” he said. “We’ll just have to see what happens.”