Wisconsin High School Shuts Down Gender Neutral Bathroom After Sexual Assault Case

‘The concern is not that transgendered individuals are more likely to be sexual predators, but rather that sexual predators could exploit such laws…’

Wisconsin High School Shuts Down Gender Neutral Bathroom After Sexual Assault Case

Austin Sauer / PHOTO: Oneida County Sheriff’s Office

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A Wisconsin high school was forced to shut down its gender-neutral bathroom after a male student allegedly sexually assaulted one of his female peers.

The 18-year-old male student—identified as Austin Sauer—was arrested at Rhinelander High School last week on charges of child enticement, fourth-degree sexual assault and exposing genitals to a child, according to WSAW-TV.

The assault took place in the school’s gender-neutral bathroom, according to the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office.

Both students “went into the bathroom voluntarily,” according to Rhinelander School District superintendent Kelli Jacobi, who said the incident “was not random.” Still, Jacobi said they’d be closing the gender-neutral bathroom until the school can figure out what happened.

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“That bathroom is no longer available to students. The male student will no longer be able to be on the school grounds,” she said.

The school’s gender-neutral bathroom opened in October, according to WAOW-TV. School officials praised its opening as an opportunity for inclusion, arguing that the school needs to make its transgender or “gender expansive” students feel comfortable.

But concerned parents have been warning school districts for the past few years that gender neutral bathrooms give sexual predators the opportunity to exploit the circumstances and violate privacy. Back in 2017, the Family Research Council compiled a list of more than 21 attacks on females, all of which occurred in gender neutral bathrooms.

“It is important to note that the concern is not that transgendered individuals are more likely to be sexual predators, but rather that sexual predators could exploit such laws by posing as transgendered in order to gain access to women and girls,” the group said in a statement at the time.

Beyond this, when companies [and schools] implement any-sex bathroom/dressing room policies, it encourages criminals to take advantage of these policies to commit crimes,” it added.