Three months after the Minnesota State High School League near-unanimously voted to let transgender athletes play on the team they identify with, a state senator has proposed a bill to nullify that decision.
Sen. David Brown (R-Becker) has authored a two-pronged bill that would reverse MSHSL's new rules and also enforce separation of students by their physical sex in all school bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers.
That means that a trans student with a male body who identifies as female would have to use the men's bathroom if the school does not provide her with a private one.
"The argument is made from the other side that this is discrimination," Brown says. "But I look at it as if you have students who are already struggling with issues of who they are and acceptance, having a male body undressed in a female locker room is going to make the situation of bullying worse for that student. It just opens the door for more bullying, intimidating, and trauma."
Brown, a father of two girls, says the bill is important to him personally because he doesn't want his daughters to be have to undress in a locker room alongside students with male bodies. The majority of Minnesotans agree with him, he says, citing a poll from February.
Public Opinion Strategies, which The New York Times described as the nation's "leading Republican polling company," reported that 90 percent of Minnesota voters were not happy with MSHSL's decision.
Brown says transwomen athletes will have an unfair advantage if they're allowed to play on girls' teams because biological males are stronger.
Brown admits to never speaking to transgender students about their concerns. But he did consult non-trans students who worry that their trans peers will get bullied more due to the new rules.
"They see the issue of bullying and being made fun of in those situations," Brown says.
It's a strangely passive way to talk about bullying when students could also just ... you know, take it on themselves to not do it.
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