Last Updated on February 27, 2020
A transgender teacher, who is fighting for the right to use the girls student’s restroom at an elementary school, has caused a backlash leading to parents wishing to sue the school district.
Michael Busenbark, who now goes by Vica Steel, and whose title are Mx instead of Mr or Mrs, identifies as a non-binary and transgender woman, is a teacher at Frank Allis Elementary School, Madison, Wisconsin.
Steel has accused the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) of transphobia in an open letter published in a local LGBT outlet, Our Lives.
“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.”
According to 4W, Tim LeMonds, MMSD Public Information Officer in an interview, said, “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.”
However, in spite of this, Steel wrote,
In the 23 years I’ve been in the district, there has never been a complaint about women using the same bathrooms as their students. The fact that most people don’t know that women use the same bathrooms as girls should be proof enough that this is not, has not, and should not even be an issue.
Third: In January, I started using the same multi-stall bathroom as the women on my wing of my school. Yes students use that bathroom too. Women have used that bathroom for decades. No complaints. I used it. I am an open and out transgender woman. I fought decades with the trauma that our society laid on me. But I stood up and I came out, and yes, I used the bathroom because, seriously, can you just let us pee! Wiithin days a transphobic parent complained to the district and our leadership, instead of following established guidelines for transgender people and our district’s bathrooms, the leadership decided to rush a change of policy so that I would not use that bathroom. The leaders enacting this policy refuse to see the transphobia in their action. This is where they cite safety and “hearing all stakeholders”.
Having been in the school district for over two decades, Steel only began using the girl’s bathroom in January, causing a fuss.
Although the MMSD does support transgender staff using the bathroom they feel most comfortable with, Steel goes onto say, on the ninth point of their open letter:
Safety. Let’s say a couple things about that word in this context. Transgender woman. Bathrooms. Safety. This is code. This is the same code word that was used in North Carolina when they enacted their transgender bathroom bans. This is the same code word used by every hate group everywhere when they are talking about women like me who need to pee. The code means fear. It’s based on lies and fears about transgender women. It plays to fears that have never been real. 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. And darling, transgender women have been around since the beginning of time. We were welcomed in most cultures until hatred became enshrined in Europe about 1,000 years ago. Or maybe earlier, I’m not fully up on that part of my history.
Steel later complained about the lack of availability of adult bathrooms and female teachers being able to use the girl’s stalls.
Steel’s coming out enraged parents and made national news after a “transgender lesson” was given without parental consent.
The preceding events led to some parents taking action.
According to 4W:
On February 18th, the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), a conservative law firm, filed a lawsuit against MMSD on behalf of eight parents who claim that the school district is violating their rights. The lawsuit is centered around the school’s “gender-affirming” policy for students:
“This action seeks to vindicate parents’ fundamental and constitutional right to direct the upbringing of their children. The Madison Metropolitan School District has violated this important right by adopting a policy designed to circumvent parental involvement in a pivotal decision affecting their children’s health and future.”
Transgenderism in schools is becoming a hotter topic. Schools in Western countries have been warming up to the idea of adding spicier content into sex-ed, as well as inviting drag queens–sometimes violating internal procedures–to speak with students.