Kids In North Carolina Are Now Allowed To Bring Pepper Spray Into Bathrooms To Spray Trans People With

In the latest horrifying bit of legalized transphobia, the North Carolina Board of Education passed a new rule that says Salisbury school district students can now bring pepper spray into bathrooms with them. The fucked line of reasoning posits that pepper spray will help protect students against the “risk” of trans people using the bathroom, particularly cis-female students. It’s the “ugh” heard round the world.

There are obviously a long list of problems with this line of reasoning, or at least a short list of very big problems. The first and perhaps most obvious flaw in their fear-based logic is the fact that North Carolina has already passed the HB2 bill which prohibits trans people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender. This essentially means that trans people are required to use whichever bathroom cis people decide matches their gender.

On top of the instatement of this wildly discriminatory bill, school boards are adding rules that in practical terms give students permission to spray and assault trans students in the name of “self-defense.” This is beyond alarming, it’s fucking unconstitutional.

One of the Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education members, Chuck Hughes, explained his reasoning to The Post, saying:

“Depending on how the courts rule on the bathroom issues, it may be a pretty valuable tool to have on the female students if they go to the bathroom, not knowing who may come in.”

OK, sure. Giving women the ability to protect themselves is generally an inherently good thing. But given the disproportionate amount of violence inflicted on trans people by paranoid cis people, particularly aimed towards trans women, it makes you wonder if trans people are also allowed to bring pepper spray into the bathroom. If the line of logic surrounding these bills is that they’re supposed to protect people and women especially, then trans women should be legally allowed to carry stun-guns into bathrooms, because fuck this shit.

Obviously, this law has nothing to do with actually empowering students to be “safer” given the fact that there is no epidemic of bathroom attacks coming from trans people. This is a rule made purely out of fear and ignorance, intended to further communicate to trans people that their existence isn’t acknowledged as valid or as human.

This is a power move made by fearful bigots as a last-ditch attempt to halt the slow march of progress. Because maybe if they yell loudly enough about their wildly unjustified fears, that will halt the national dialogue about gender in its tracks.