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Parents Drop Lawsuit Against Ill. School System’s Transgender Policy

The four-year legal battle began after parents sued Township High School District 211 for allowing a transgender girl to use the girl’s locker room.

Parents Drop Lawsuit Against Ill. School System’s Transgender Policy

The school district had originally denied the female student access to the locker room but then changed its decision.

A lawsuit filed four years ago by a group of parents against a Chicago-area school district about denying transgender students access to locker rooms and bathrooms that match their identity has been dropped.

The group, Students and Parents for Privacy, sued Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Illinois, after the school board allowed a transgender female to use the girl’s locker room, reports the Washington Post.

On its Facebook page, Students and Parents for Privacy did not give a reason as to why the lawsuit was dropped but assured members that their fight was not over.

“We have voluntarily withdrawn our lawsuit against the school district,” the post read. “This does not in any way mean we are giving up. We will never give up. Every single child has a right to privacy and dignity in intimate spaces and schools have a duty to protect the well-being of every student.”

In 2015, the school system initially denied a transgender female’s request to use the girl’s locker room, prompting her to file a complaint with the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. After an investigation, the department ruled that denying her access was a violation of Title IX.

Nova Maday, a 19-year-old transgender woman who graduated from Palatine High School in 2018, said being kept out of the girl’s locker room was embarrassing and led to other difficulties. Teachers would sometimes write down in the locker room telling students where the class was meeting, and Maday, not being in the room, would sometimes wander the school to find the class.

“If anything, it’s a violation of my privacy,” she said.

Despite protests from parents, the school board reversed their decision and allowed the Maday to use the locker room. If it hadn’t the board risked losing $6 million for violating the civil rights law.

The case sparked a national debate on whether Title IX applied to transgender students in this context. Conservative parents felt the policies violated privacy and traditional values.

The lawsuit was filed in 2016, when Students and Parents for Privacy sued three transgender students, the school district and the Obama administration.

Christiana Holcomb, the Alliance Defending Freedom attorney who represented the parent group in Illinois, said in a statement that her organization is “advocating for the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students across the country.”

In 2017, Students and Parents for privacy spent thousands of dollars to elect board members sympathetic to its cause but ended up unsuccessful.

About the Author

Katie Malafronte
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Katie Malafronte is Campus Safety's Web Editor. She graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric. Katie has been CS's Web Editor since 2018.

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