The American Civil Liberties Union plans to intervene in a lawsuit filed by a group of parents against the Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 and U.S. Departments of Justice and Education over locker room access for a transgender student.
In December, the school district and U.S. Education Department reached an agreement to provide a transgender student at Fremd High School access to a gender-appropriate locker room. The district agreed to provide the student, who identifies as female, "access to the girls' locker rooms at her high school based on the student's request to change in private changing stations in the girls' locker rooms" and make available other locker room privacy options for all students.
The Education Department's Office of Civil Rights previously determined the district had violated Title IX by denying the student access to a gender-appropriate locker room and instead providing her with her own changing room in a separate facility. But the group of parents opposing the transgender student's locker room access argues that the Department of Education is misinterpreting the Title IX sex discrimination clause by allowing for gender identity to be considered in its enforcement. The parents, who are supported by the Alliance Defending Freedom and Thomas More Society, want the student's locker room access to be put on hold until the case is decided in the courts.
ACLU wants to intervene in the case to assist the school district and give a voice to the numerous parents in the district who, they say, support the student's stated needs.
"We believe that these voices from the school district deserve to be heard as part of this process," said ACLU's spokesman Ed Yohnka. "In the coming days, the ACLU will file a motion with the court to intervene in the proceedings to represent a group of parents and students from District 211, as well as others. We look forward to working vigorously to defeat this attempt to turn back the clock and re-install discrimination in the District 211 schools. We remain confident that fairness for students who are transgender will prevail."