Feds Rule in Transgender Locker Room Dispute

Illinois school district has 30 days to comply
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2015 12:16 AM CST
Feds Rule in Transgender Locker Room Dispute
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

A Chicago-area high school district that wouldn't let a transgender student use the girls locker room violated her civil rights and federal law, according to the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. The department has told Township High School District 211 that it has 30 days to comply with anti-discrimination law Title IX and allow the student, who identifies as a girl, to use the locker room, reports the Chicago Sun-Times, which notes that the long-running case has attracted a lot of attention because of its implications for school districts across the country. The school district maintains that allowing the student to use the girls locker room would violate the privacy rights of other students.

The civil rights complaint was filed two years ago and a deal was almost reached last week, when the district used curtains to create a private area in the locker room, reports the Chicago Tribune. The student agreed to use the area to change, but a spokesman for the ACLU of Illinois, which is representing her, tells the Tribune that the case went ahead because the district made it clear that the student would be required to use the private area, which amounts to "blatant discrimination"—and sends the message that she is not accepted. In a statement, the student said she had been "stigmatized" and the ruling made Monday a "good day for all students, but especially those who are transgender all across the nation," reports the Daily Herald. (The White House now has a transgender official.)

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