A male science teacher at Frank Allis Elementary School, Madison Wisconsin, has publicly accused the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) of transphobia. Vica Steel (formerly Mark Busenbark) identifies as both non-binary and a transgender woman, and asks students to use the title “Mx.” (pronounced like “mix”) rather than Mr. or Ms.
In an open letter to the school district published in Our Lives, an LGBT Madison newsletter, Steel claims that the MMSD leadership is enacting a “transphobic policy”:
“The policy our leadership is enacting is to require that staff and students use different bathrooms. I know, that doesn’t seem transphobic on the face of it. Our leadership wants to push the idea that it’s just a clarification of existing expectations. They want us to believe that it’s not transphobic, it’s just about safety and about “listening to all stakeholders”. And if that were true, this would not be a problem.”
Tim LeMonds, MMSD Public Information Officer, contradicted Steel’s claim that new a policy is being put in place. In an interview with 4W, LeMonds stated, “There is no district policy regarding adult staff using children’s bathrooms, so therefore there have been no policy changes. However, as a best practice the district does encourage adult staff to not use a children’s bathroom.”
LeMonds recognized that this best practice is “for safety purposes”, and clarified that adult staff members are given, “choice of which adult bathroom they use based on the gender with which they identify.”
Steel, however, denies that there is a safety risk associated with staff using the same bathroom as students.
“There has never been a case of a transgender woman endangering or attacking or doing anything in her time in the bathroom, except using it for peeing and adjusting make-up and doing what every other woman does.”
Although school district teachers must pass strict background checks, there have, in fact, been multiple cases of trans-identified male adults who have sexually preyed on girls in public bathrooms. It is unclear if Steel is unaware of these cases, or does not consider them “endangering or attacking”.
Read the rest at: Girls Bathroom