State Senator Ed Emery (R-Lamar) wants Missouri’s public K-through-12 schools to restrict access to restrooms, locker rooms and shower areas based on biological sex. The proposal comes as President Trump is reportedly signaling a reversal in former President Obama’s transgender bathroom policy. During a packed Senate committee hearing Tuesday, Emery said his bill would accommodate transgender students.
“We have exactly the same responsibility to every student to ensure their personal privacy and safety,” said Emery.
Samantha DeMichieli, who is a transgender child from St. Louis, became emotional as she said a change in law horrifies her.
“I’m not in the bathroom to do anything bad, to vandalize or peep in the stalls,” said DeMichieli. “I’m there to pee and wash my hands.”
As her voice quivered, Kelly Storck of eastern Missouri’s Webster Groves testified that her twelve-year-old transgender child is her pride and joy.
“My son is not confused. He is not delusional. He is not mentally ill and he is certainly not a sexual predator. My son is a child,” said Storck.
State Senator Jason Holsman (D-Kansas City) suggested that the bill makes Missouri look unwelcoming and uninviting. Emery disagreed.
“I think this, Senator, is an acknowledgement that those groups exists. It’s respecting their existence. It’s not contending,” said Emery.
Under Emery’s proposal, alternate facilities for transgender students would be required. Opponents say schools would have to acquire additional bathrooms and shower rooms, which would create a financial strain on school budgets.
A Senate committee has not voted on Emery’s bill.