Republicans in the Michigan legislature have vowed to fight a proposed guidance from the state’s Board of Education that could lead to children using bathrooms and locker rooms alonside members of the opposite sex. State senator Tom Casperson of Escanaba will introduce legislation that would prohibit schools from allowing children to share a bathroom or locker room with their opposite-sex classrooms.
In an interview with The Daily Caller, Casperson described his bill as a “common sense” solution that seeks to protect the privacy of all students. Under Casperson’s bill, transgender students wouldn’t be allowed to use opposite-sex bathrooms but could use single-use bathrooms if uncomfortable with using the biologically-correct bathroom.
The guidance proposed by the Board of Education would push schools to let transgender students use whichever bathroom they please, making single-person restrooms available to students uncomfortable showering or changing alongside the opposite sex. That is, a male student claiming to be female would (if the Board has its way) be able to use the girls bathrooms and locker rooms, and any girls uncomfortable with that fact would have to request a single-person bathroom.
Casperson slammed the Board of Education — which leans heavily Democrat — as neglecting the needs and privacy of students and parents in its efforts to please a few. “What the Board of Education is doing is they’re not caring about the privacy of other kids,” he said.
An editorial in The Detroit News made a similar criticism, accusing the Board of ignoring real problems with the state’s schools in favor of pursuing “politically expedient” measures. (RELATED: Michigan Mothers Plead: Don’t Make Our Daughters Shower With Boys)
Under the proposed guidance, schools would be pressured to let children switch genders and use opposite-sex facilities without their parents knowledge. Casterson’s bill would change that, requiring any requests for special treatment to be made by both child and parent, with a legal bypass available for children in abusive situations.
Sen. Casperson also criticized the Board for the way in which it released the proposed guidance — tucking it in a corner of the Board’s website without a press release. Casperson said it didn’t make any sense for the Board to hide the guidance from the public: “Why would we not put a press release out?”
Despite his careful balancing act to try and protect the safety and privacy of all children, Sen. Casperson said he does expect some backlash from opposition, who he says will try to smear him as “a bigot or something.” (RELATED: After Transgender Guidance, Michigan Education Board Stripped Of Travel Funding)
Nevertheless, Casperson vowed to keep fighting on behalf of the many parents and teachers who have reached out to him with concerns about the guidance. “I just believe, and I think a lot of people agree, we need to find some solutions.”
The president of the Board of Education, John Austin, has yet to respond to TheDC’s several inquiries regarding the proposed guidance.
Follow Peter Hasson on Twitter @PeterJHasson