Tension rises in Wrightstown High School transgender restroom issue

By Brian Roebke
Community members continue to share their feelings about a biological male they say is using the girls restrooms at Wrightstown High School.
Parents continued to speak out on the issue at the Oct. 20 Wright-stown Community School District Board of Education meeting.
Because it’s a private issue, the school district hasn’t been able to say much, but parents appear to be increasingly angry about the issue, with a half dozen speaking during the open forum for public comment portion of the meeting.
The concerns of the parents isn’t just about what could occur at Wrightstown High School, but has happened at two schools in Virginia earlier this year.
On May 28, a female student alleged that a male student sexually assaulted her in the restroom at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va.
The Daily Wire reported 14-year-old boy allegedly wearing a skirt entered a girls’ bathroom at the school, where he sexually assaulted a ninth-grade student. 
The same male teenager, now aged 15, was accused of sexually assaulting a female student in an empty classroom at Broad Run High School, also in Ashburn, on Oct. 6.
The male student was charged in both incidents and was found guilty in the first but has yet to be convicted for the second assault.
Dan Schmidt said the student in question was found vaping in both boys and girls restrooms on the same day.
He asked how far the student would push the issue. “Is he going to start using the girls locker room, or does he already, we don’t know?” Schmidt said.
He asked if any ladies in the room would feel comfortable in a locker room showering and changing after physical education class and having a boy there watching them.
He encouraged the school to focus on a solution since they already knew there was a problem.
“There’s going to be more and more that this happens,” he said.
Renee Vandenberg was particularly disappointed with the long delay in getting a reply to her email from Superintendent Carla Buboltz.
She said the school locker room is not the first place she wanted her daughter to see a naked man.
“I hope that would be on her wedding night, not in a school locker room in Wrightstown, Wis.,” she said.
She reiterated she’s not talking about one person, but a policy that is not in place.
Vandenberg said she’s not trying to pick on the student, because she has associations with gay and transgender people but believes this issue is about everyone in school feeling safe.
“What about the girls that don’t feel safe,” she asked.
Mike Pakanich, a business owner, suggested board members walk a mile in someone else’s shoes and take their showers in the morning at school and let everyone who wants to be able to go into that locker room at the same time.
“For anyone to think this is even close to being normal … this is insane,” he said.
Jeff Nelson had questions about putting lesson plans online for students who are out of school because of COVID-19.
When Vice President Nicole Gerend tried to close the open portion of the meeting, several other people said they didn’t know they had to sign up to speak, so they gave their opinions.
Brad Voltmer read some Bible passages about men and women and asked if the federal government imposes its will upon the school. He suggested turning down federal aid that’s approximately 1-3 percent of the school budget would free them of having to follow federal law.
“Even when they’re not true to the bible, they’re not true to the science, and they’re not true to history, businesses from time to time need to cut back from 1-3 percent and they survive,” he said. “What would it be like if you cut yourself free of the federal government and you did what was right for the kids?”
Another speaker, Jessica Vande Walle, read a letter to the board saying she’s saddened to see schools move where they are regarding transgender rights.
She doesn’t like seeing signs, flags, symbols, mugs, and stickers around the school that “bring division” amongst people about the LGBTQ issue. She suggested banning such items from being displayed in school as well as those pertaining to Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump, and safe spaces.