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Wisconsin police say no assault committed against Trans high schooler

The incident had provoked a student walk-out demanding that school administrators provide better protections for the school’s LGBTQ+ students



Berlin High School students protest attack on Trans student (Screenshot via NBC News affiliate WGBA-TV 26)

BERLIN – The Berlin Police Department’s detectives and Berlin Area School District administrators had launched a investigation into allegations of a sexual assault against a Trans male student in a bathroom by other male students at Berlin High School last week.

This past Friday however, Berlin Police released a statement saying that no assault had taken place, although investigators were investigating claims that there was a video recording of the trans male in the bathroom using the facilities:

On Thursday, November 4, 2021, a Berlin High School student reported to school authorities that they had been assaulted in one of the high school restrooms.

Upon being notified, School Administration immediately reported the allegation to the Berlin Police Department. An investigation was immediately launched into the allegation in cooperation with the department’s investigative unit. After multiple interviews and examining the associated evidence of the alleged assault, our investigation discovered no physical assault or attack against the alleged victim took place. During the course of the investigation, it was learned a recording may have been taken of the victim while in a bathroom stall.

Anyone with direct information of this recording please contact the Berlin Police Department at 920-361-2121. No additional information will be made available.

The incident had provoked a student walk-out demanding that school administrators provide better protections for the school’s LGBTQ+ students.

NBC News affiliate WGBA-TV 26 in Green Bay reported that the student identified only by his first name of Lucas, told reporter Kelsey Dickeson that he was assaulted in the school’s bathroom on multiple occasions.

On two separate occasions last week, the teen told NBC 26 that several male students made him pull down his pants and lift up his shirt in the boy’s bathroom. The most recent incident happened on this past Wednesday. Lucas said a group surrounded the stall while one person recorded a video through a slit in the door.

Lucas said he reported the incidents to the school and filed a police report.

“I was uncomfortable, scared. I didn’t really want to walk around the hallways after that. I tried to ignore it, but it was hard. I finally spoke up to my friends about it, and now everybody knows about it.”

High school students in this small town of approximately 5,500 located a half hour West of Oshkosh are angered by the allegations and extremely unhappy with the way the school has responded.

Amber Olmstead, the Berlin High School student who organized the student protest told NBC 26; “We told them that we’re not backing down this time. They’re going to hear our voices and they’re going to do something about it.”

 Olmstead added that she felt that bullying is a big problem at school and wants to see change.

“We want students to feel safe at a school, because we’re expected to be there. So we should be expected to be safe,” Olmstead said. “At the end of the day they are the adults. We are children. I understand they can’t control these students. They’re their own person at the end of the day. But they need to at least try and prevent them from being able to do all of this.”

Berlin Area School District superintendent Carl Cartwright sent the following statement to NBC 26 in regards to the incident:

The Berlin Area School District is aware of a student walkout in response to allegations of a student assault at the high school. The Berlin Area School District is committed to the success of all students in a safe learning environment and we take such allegations seriously. The school district is cooperating with local law enforcement who are investigating this situation. The district is also conducting its own investigation. Because of the ongoing investigations, the district is unable to provide additional details at this time.



Wisconsin Rep Neubauer: Anti-Trans bills “Will Not Become Law”

Thursday, the Wisconsin Assembly voted to pass a gender affirming care ban for trans youth but doesn’t have votes required to override a veto



Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer, (Left) with Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor)

By Erin Reed | MADISON, WI. – On Thursday, the Wisconsin Assembly passed three bills aimed at transgender individuals in the state. Two of these bills seek to ban transgender athletes from competing in sports in K-12 schools and colleges, and the third aims to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

The debate on the assembly floor was intense; Republicans leaned heavily on long-debunked misinformation and openly derogatory remarks about transgender individuals to support their stance.

However, despite their efforts, not a single Democratic representative was swayed, and the bills failed to achieve the vote margin necessary to override the forthcoming veto from Democratic Governor Tony Evers. Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Greta Neubauer stated publicly, “These bills will not become law.”

The initial bills presented, Assembly Bills 377 and 378, which aim to exclude transgender individuals from sports, faced significant opposition from Democrats. Democratic Representative Jodi Emerson highlighted that not one Wisconsin athlete testified to the need for this legislation, even after over 12 hours of testimony — the vast majority of people testifying opposed the bills.

In response, Republican Representative Nik Rettinger bafflingly suggested that “an increase in injuries” might be attributed to transgender individuals, despite evidence indicating only 6 known transgender athletes currently competing in the state.

One Republican, Representative Jerry O’Connor, took particular offense to being called hateful, stating that Democrats and trans people were “bullying” Republicans for supporting legislation like this. It is important to note that there have been over 500 anti-trans bills in the last year, with many targeting transgender youth. Some of these bills explicitly legalize bullying behavior by other students, such as deliberately calling a trans peer by their old name and pronouns. It is likewise worth mentioning that 61% of transgender kids report being bullied in school.

Ultimately, the bills passed 63-35 along party lines, with not a single Democrat voting for the bills. This is short of the votes needed to overturn a veto that has been promised by Governor Evers.

Following the passage of these bills, the Assembly heard Assembly Bill 465, a bill banning gender affirming care for transgender youth in opposition to unanimous agreement by medical organizations and scientific consensus.

The first representative to speak on the bill was Democratic Representative Melissa Ratcliff, who has a transgender kid. In a heartfelt speech, she stated, “My son is transgender,” as she proceeded to tell her son’s moving story. Speaking to the legislation, she closed by saying, “[you’re] using children as pawns in your political game. It’s sad. It’s mean. It’s bullying kids.” Assembly Democrats erupted in applause following her words.

See her speech here:

Republicans responded to her remarks with disdain and unfounded claims regarding care. Representative Robin Vos asserted that “three-year-olds” were being “mutilated,” a statement entirely lacking in factual basis. Gender-affirming medical care typically commences with puberty blockers, which are administered, as the name implies, after the onset of puberty. Hormone therapy is generally introduced later in a transgender person’s teenage years, and surgical interventions are exceptionally rare, with many states unable to cite a single instance involving transgender youth.

Representative Wichgers, another Republican, advocated for bans affecting those up to 25-30 years old, mirroring similar legislation proposed in several states this year. Representative Tusler, also from the Republican party, labeled gender-affirming care as “child abuse.” Notably, Texas faced controversy in 2022 when it investigated parents of transgender youth for child abuse, even coming close to removing their children, until the state’s supreme court intervened.

Republican Representative Brandtjen erroneously described gender-affirming vaginoplasty as “an open wound with hair,” a statement that has no grounding in fact. She concluded by asserting, “we never hear about the detransitioners,” despite subsequently mentioning Chloe Cole, one of the dozen or so political detransitioners frequently showcased from one state to another to bolster anti-trans legislation. Notably, Wisconsin Republicans were unable to present even one detransitioner from within the state to speak in support of these bills.

Democrats pushed back heavily. Representative Robyn Vining remarked, “These bills were hatched by people who aren’t even Wisconsinites.” She pointed to leaked emails from an anti-trans working group, highlighting their scramble to answer why gender-affirming care seemed to diminish suicide rates. Addressing Republicans’ frequent misinterpretation of research, notably a Swedish study that is often erroneously cited as claiming “transition makes people more suicidal,” Representative Snodgrass voiced exasperation: “If I have to hear one more person talk about a Danish, Swedish study when we have all of these studies from our country [supporting gender affirming care]…”

The bill went on to pass by the same 63-35 margin to the transgender sports bans. Governor Evers, when standing with those testifying against the bills, promised a veto. Representative Greta Neubauer confirmed this expectation still holds true, stating, “these bills will not become law.”

Despite being only a few votes shy of a veto proof majority, Republicans failed to convince Democrats to vote against transgender people. This stands in stark contrast to a state like Kansas, where Democratic Representative Marvin Robinson cast the deciding vote for anti-trans bills in the state, leading to many in the LGBTQ+ community feeling betrayed. Likewise in North Carolina, Representative Tricia Cotham left the party and joined the Republican Party, breaking anti-trans vetoes in that state as well.

The bill now advances to the Senate, where passage also seems likely. Upon approval, it will be presented to Governor Evers for his signature, where he is anticipated to veto it. If the final vote counts remain unchanged, Representative Neubauer’s assertion will ring true: the massive opposition to anti-trans legislation in Wisconsin will have effectively halted this legislation in its tracks.


Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here:


The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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Wisconsin trans bans meet massive resistance

Wisconsin heard three anti-trans bills on Wednesday, nearly 12 hours of testimony, 10,000 pages, submitted & even Governor Evers showed up



By Erin Reed | MADISON, WI. – On Wednesday, the state of Wisconsin considered three anti-trans bills. Two of the bills targeted transgender individuals in K-12 and college sports, while the third aimed to ban gender-affirming care for trans youth.

Opposition to these bills was extremely high, with one anti-trans activist noting that her side had “taken a knee” in light of the massive crowd rallying against these anti-trans proposals. Organizers showcased boxes containing 10,000 pages of testimony opposing the bans, and even Democratic Governor Evers made an appearance.

The bills under consideration were Assembly Bill 377, which proposes a ban on transgender girls participating in K-12 sports; Assembly Bill 378, aimed at banning transgender athletes in college sports; and Assembly Bill 465, which seeks to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth.

Similar laws have been enacted in Republican-controlled legislatures across the United States this year—over 20 states now have some form of ban on gender-affirming care and sports participation for transgender youth. However, Wisconsin might present a more challenging terrain for the passage of such laws.

While Republicans hold a supermajority in the state Senate, they fall just shy of such a supermajority in the Wisconsin State Assembly. Moreover, the state boasts a Democratic governor, Governor Evers, who has pledged to veto any legislation targeting transgender individuals coming out of the legislature.

As the hearings commenced, it swiftly became apparent that it was shaping up to be a favorable day for those opposing the bills. Multiple overflow rooms reached capacity. In a notable moment, Republican Representative Nedweski believed she could corner a Democratic witness with the question, “What is a woman?” The witness sifted through the bill before looking up and noting that the definition “does not appear in the bill.”

Indeed, the bill itself only delineates sex as “what was assigned at birth on a birth certificate,” suggesting that not even Republican legislators could provide an answer to their own question in this particular bill.

Meanwhile, just outside in the overflow rooms that were filling to capacity, boxes were set on shelves for people to deposit their written testimony. Fair Wisconsin, an LGBTQ+ organization in the state, announced that they had collected nearly 10,000 pages of testimony in opposition to the bill.

In another overflow room, people standing in line were treated to Governor Evers, who showed up to stand in solidarity. He indicated that if any of these bills passed, he would “veto all of them.”

Following the education committee hearings on sports bans, the lengthiest hearing of the day commenced—a debate on a bill proposing a ban on gender-affirming care for trans youth. The sponsor began his testimony with misinformation about transgender care, erroneously citing a “Swedish study” to claim a higher suicide risk among individuals who transition (rather than those denied care). This assertion has been debunked by the author of the study herself, who has indicated that the data within the study does not support such a claim. Suicide rates are actually reduced by up to 73% for those who need and obtain gender affirming care.

Anticipating backlash from the medical community, the bill’s sponsor labeled local hospitals and national physician organizations as “wolves.” His apprehensions were indeed justified, as representatives from virtually all of Wisconsin’s major hospitals, medical societies, the American Pediatric Association, and the American Medical Association either attended the hearing or submitted testimony against the bill. 

Every major American medical organization supports gender affirming care as scientifically backed and life-saving.

Perhaps the most potent moments of the hearing, though, were the actual individuals who testified. One such individual was Representative Ryan Clancy, who took a seat and shared experiences of his own transgender child. In his testimony, he sharply criticized the architects of the bill, asserting, “I would call the authors ghouls and empty husks of people, but I won’t… because the authors of this legislation are not in this building, they’re across the US.”

This remark alludes to the Alliance Defending Freedom, the anti-trans entity credited with drafting many of these bills nationwide. He continued, “they are not evil, the ones whose names are on this legislation, they are at best, plagiarists.”

See his testimony here:

While they tried to switch between those supporting the bill and opposing the bill at first, those attempts ran out in the first hour of the hearing. The remaining seven hours of testimony on the care ban was almost entirely opposed to the legislation. Outside, those supporting transgender rights gathered, socialized, and organized for future fights.

The bills will be voted on in the committee and potentially advanced to the full assembly. They have a long path ahead of it to be passed into law, with significant roadblocks, including a governors veto that Republicans cannot override by themselves. Likewise, as activists showed on Wednesday, that the already steep hill to climb will be made tougher by the huge number of people who stand in opposition.


Erin Reed is a transgender woman (she/her pronouns) and researcher who tracks anti-LGBTQ+ legislation around the world and helps people become better advocates for their queer family, friends, colleagues, and community. Reed also is a social media consultant and public speaker.

Follow her on Twitter (Link)

Website here:


The preceding article was first published at Erin In The Morning and is republished with permission.

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Neo-Nazi group disrupts Wisconsin Pride: “Us or the pedophiles!”

The neo-Nazi “Blood Tribe” were seen carrying what appeared to be assault rifles and waving large black flags with the swastika symbol



Armed Neo-Nazi group "Blood Tribe" protests "Pride in the Park" in Watertown, Wisconsin July 29. (Screenshot/YouTube News To Share)

WATERTOWN, WI. – A neo-Nazi group that promotes hardline white supremacist views and openly directs hate speech at Jews, ‘non-whites’ and the LGBTQ+ community,” joined with the far-right extremist ‘Gays Against Groomers‘ group to protest a Pride in the Park event Saturday afternoon that also featured a Drag Queen Storytime and drag performances.

The neo-Nazi “Blood Tribe” were seen in multiple videos carrying what appeared to be assault rifles and waving large black flags with the swastika symbol while shouting “Us or the pedophiles!” at the crowd, which included children. They also yelled: “There will be blood, blood blood!”

In a social media post, ‘Gays Against Groomers’ wrote: “We’re out here with @GAG_Wisconsin at the Watertown, WI “Pride in the Park” event. Lots of protesters showed up! The all ages drag show is about to start. We will not waver. We will let them know loud and clear that NONE OF THIS is for children!”

Wisconsin LGBTQ+ media outlet ‘Our Lives’ reported the neo-Nazi group protested at the entrance of  Watertown Pride, the town’s second annual pride event. Our Lives also noted [that] while disappointing and enraging, this protest is not wholly unexpected, as the Watertown city council meeting regarding the 2022 event was an hour and a half long meeting dominated by the comments of  people who espouse anti LGBTQ rhetoric and believe the far right’s narrative about grooming behavior, especially when it comes to drag performances.

The news outlet also pointed out that no anti-drag laws have been passed yet in Wisconsin.

Neo-Nazis at Pride in Park Event Watertown, Wisc. July 29, 2023
(Photo by Wendy Pliszka, Unity Project of Watertown)

Organizers of the Pride in the Park, which is put on by Unity Project of Watertown, spoke with WKOW 27 ABC News:

Robin Kangas, a spokesperson for the Unity Project of Watertown issued a statement Monday regarding the events that unfolded on Saturday.

“I would like to address what we have all been talking about. As the board we have come together and want to let everyone know this is our official statement:

“Yes, we had a Neo-Nazi group show up to protest our event. But you know who else showed up? The police department working hard at keeping us safe and the event peaceful. A group of religious leaders including rabbis, pastors, and priests affirming the individuals and community at the event. Allies and members of the LGBTQ community who spent the rest of the day laughing, sharing joy, making friendships, and spreading love. The Neo-Nazi group tried to derail us, but they failed. At Watertown’s Pride in the Park, love won.”

Armed Neo-Nazi group “Blood Tribe” protests “Pride in the Park” in Watertown, Wisconsin:

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Dolly Parton-Miley Cyrus duet about rainbows banned by school

The School District of Waukesha says the decision is supported by its Superintendent Jim Sebert & the Board of Education was not involved



Miley Cyrus & Dolly Parton performing together this past New Year’s Eve (Screenshot/YouTube)

WAUKESHA, Wis. – A decision by the School District of Waukesha banning Miley Cyrus’ song “Rainbowland” sung in a duet with Country superstar Dolly Parton from the Heyer Elementary School’s upcoming first-grade music concert because its too controversial has angered some parents and others labeling the decision an anti-LGBTQ move.

At issue are the lyrics:  “Living in a Rainbowland where you and I go hand in hand. Oh, I’d be lying if I said this was fine. All the hurt and the hate going on here We are rainbows, me and you. Every color, every hue. Let’s shine on through. Together, we can start living in a Rainbowland,” as well as, “Wouldn’t it be nice to live in paradise… where we’re free to be exactly who we are.”

WTMJ 4, Milwaukee’s NBC News affiliate reported that a classroom teacher suggested the song to the music teacher. According to the school district, the music teacher checked with the principal to determine if the song would be acceptable to use in a first-grade music concert. The principal then checked with a central office administrator. The two reviewed the song alongside the district’s “Board Policy 2240 – Controversial Issues in the Classroom.” In accordance with the policy, they determined the song “could be deemed controversial.”

Instead, the song “Rainbow Connection” by Kermit the Frog was selected.

The School District of Waukesha says the decision is supported by its Superintendent Jim Sebert and at no time was the Board of Education involved.

FOX6 News Milwaukee interviewed a parent and others about the decision:

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Wisconsin Republicans block conversion therapy ban

Republican legislators say they object on procedural grounds



Wisconsin Capitol (Photo Credit: Library of Congress)

MADISON – An effort to outlaw conversion therapy in Wisconsin was blocked for the second time on Thursday by a group of four Republican members of a state legislative committee.

In 2020, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers banned the dangerous and scientifically discredited practice via occupational licensing requirements for therapists, social workers and counselors.

The Republican controlled legislature responded by temporarily blocking the ban, doing so again on Thursday with all six GOP members voting against their Democratic colleagues.

Twenty states along with the District of Columbia have banned conversion therapy for minors, as it is inconsistent with clinical practice guidelines governing evidence based care, ineffective at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and tends to cause long term psychological harm.

The practice is often considered fraudulent and has been described as torture.

“It’s disappointing that the very first move the GOP is going to make this legislative session is to green-light abusive practices against children,” State Sen. Kelda Roys said.

Republican Wisconsin legislators contend their objection is rooted in the fact that the examining board in the Department of Safety and Public Standards does not have the authority to enforce the conversion therapy ban.

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Wisconsin school board labels Pride flags “political” & bans them

The policy specifies faculty/staff also may not say in professional school business related emails what their preferred pronouns are



Progress LGBTQ+ Pride flag (Blade photo by Michael Key)

WALES, Wi. – The Kettle Moraine School District Board voted to uphold a policy that schools Superintendent Stephen Plum had interpreted as banning displays of political or religious messages, including LGBTQ+ Pride flags, and Black Lives Matter and We Back the Badge signs.

The policy also specifies that faculty and school staff also may not say in professional school business related emails what their preferred pronouns are.

After impassioned debate on Tuesday during the board meeting’s public remarks segment, board members voted unanimously to keep the policy in effect.

The Associated Press reported:

Most of those who spoke at Tuesday’s packed board meeting opposed the policy. The public comment period was capped at an hour, despite a call from the crowd to extend it.

“If you have a policy that says ‘nothing political,’ does that mean you can’t have a sign up that says, ‘Support our Troops,’ or ‘Believe Women’ or ‘Save the Planet?’ By some people’s definitions, all of those things are political,” said Christine Donahoe, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin.

Donahoe said she’s looking closely at the policy and a similar one approved last fall by the school district in nearby Waukesha.

“It really looks like targeted attacks at specific viewpoints, like LGBT communities, or welcome and safe spaces to students of color,” said Donahoe.

In a comment posted to the school district’s Facebook page, an Out University of Wisconsin Stevens-Point graduate, Kris Williams noted:

“How sad that your school district chooses to not support such a huge population of your youth, in your community, in your schools. This is shameful. I hope families of LGBTQ young people are able to find other schools in the area that will support their children fully. Showing LGBTQ support is not about politics or showing a political view. It is about being inclusive of all of humanity.”

More than 13,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the Kettle Moraine policy that was launched by two local high school students, Bethany Provan and Brit Farrar.

“Having a rainbow flag in your room isn’t pushing your beliefs on someone,” Provan told WITI-TV. “It’s just saying, ‘Hey, you’re welcome here, and we support you.’”

The Trevor Project sent a letter opposing the board’s actions prior to Tuesday’s vote when the policy was first discussed and implemented a month ago:

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