Chicago Transgender Student Files Complaint for Access to Girls' Locker Room
The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has informed District 211, Illinois’ largest school district, that it is in violation of federal law by refusing to allow a male student who identifies as female to use the girl’s locker room.
The student, whose name has been kept private, first filed a complaint with support from the ACLU of Illinois in early 2014. Following precedent in two similar cases in California, District 211 was informed that depriving the student of equal access to facilities violates Title IX’s sex nondiscrimination protections, calling such treatment “inadequate and discriminatory.”
At a press conference on October 12, Illinois District 211 Superintendent Dan Cates said he would not abide by the OCR’s decision. “This is about matters of student privacy,” Cates said. “What they are asking us to do is have opposite sex students in the same open area of the locker room and that we do not do. This is a matter we take very seriously and this policy would undo that.”
If the district cannot reach a compromise with federal officials, it risks losing some of the $6 million it receives in federal funding.