MADISON — Wisconsin
communities could apply for money to bolster election
security under a $1.1 million grant program being
proposed by the state agency in charge of elections.
The Wisconsin Elections
Commission board was to vote Tuesday on approving the
new grant program. It would be funded with federal
The move to create the
grant program comes after the commission last month
rejected the idea of buying scores of new loaner
computers for local clerks using outdated systems open
Instead, all Wisconsin
municipalities and counties could apply for up to
$1,200 each to make security upgrades. The money could
be used for such things as purchasing new computers,
upgrading operating systems and paying for technical
local election clerks support the program as Wisconsin
tries to strengthen security ahead of the 2020
school district's gender identity policy
MADISON, Wis. — A conservative group
has asked a Madison School District to repeal a
policy that prohibits staff from telling parents if
their child is transitioning genders at school,
unless they have that student's permission.
The guidance document went into effect last school
year, according to a Wisconsin State Journal report.
Rick Esenberg, president of the Wisconsin Institute
for Law & Liberty, said the policy instructs
employees to deceive students' families.
"Whether there's any aspect of the policy that can
remain in place, there might be," Esenberg said.
"I'm not entirely sure that it is the school
district's job to take positions on things called
the gender-binary. But our concern here, the thing
that we're concerned with as a legal organization,
is the exclusion of the parents."
Sherie Hohs oversees the district's LGBT student
support services. Hohs said outing students to
families who may not accept their transition could
have "devastating effects on their safety."
There will be times when we will follow that
student's lead, Hohs said. "And if it's not the
right time to involve family and because we want all
students to feel safe and welcomed ... we're going
to use their affirmed names and their pronouns, and
we're going to get their consent on where those can
She said about 4% of Madison school students
identified in a 2018 survey as transgender or
nonbinary, or they rejected static gender identities
altogether. People are nonbinary if their gender
identity is not strictly male or female.
The guide also requires staff to communicate with
family using the name and gender of a student in the
district's information system. Students who are
transitioning can change their names and genders in
the system with a guardian's permission.
"Our students are coming out, and they're coming out
earlier, and we're going to be there for them," Hohs