A transgender science teacher in Wisconsin has accused the school district of enacting a “transphobic” bathroom policy which prevents adult staff members from sharing a toilet with young students.
Mark “Vince” Busenbark, of Allis Elementary School in Madison, said the policy, which segregates bathroom use by age, was put in place after a “transphobic parent” complained to the district that a biological male was using the same bathroom as their young daughter.
In a piece for Out Lives Magazine, Busenbark lamented that within days of using a women’s only bathroom frequented by female staff and students, a “transphobic parent complained to the district and our leadership” and “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 actions,” he said.
Busenbark went on to urge readers to “stand up” and “resist the writing of transphobia into our school district heart.”
“I need allies,” he said. “I need other voices. I cannot do this alone. And if our district is going to require that my need to pee be a revolutionary act, then let’s lead that revolution together.”
Tim LeMonds, the Madison Metropolitan School District’s Public Information Officer, denied Busenbark’s claim that a new policy had been enacted. In an interview with 4W, LeMonds 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.”
Busenbark made headlines in May last year after school officials allowed him to give a presentation to students in K-5th grade about his transition from male to female, leaving parents outraged.
A video was played to students in which Busenbark read a book titled, “They Call Me Mix.” The book includes the statements, “‘BOY or GIRL?’ Are you a boy or a girl? How can you be both? Some days I am both. Some days I am neither. Most days I am everything in between.”
Busenbark told students he was adopting his wife’s surname, Steel, and was going to use, not “Mr” or “Mrs” but “Mx”. He also told students to use his preferred pronouns which were “they,” “them,” and “their.”