A federal judge has granted the American Civil Liberties Union's request 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.
The decision means the Illinois Safe School Alliance and transgender students will be allowed to have a voice in the case, which seeks to revoke a transgender student's access to the girl's bathroom.
We are gratified that Judge Alonso granted our motion to intervene in this matter. We believe that it is critical to include the voices and interests of students who are transgender in this lawsuit. It is these students' lives that will be adversely impacted if the anti-LGBT rights groups directing this lawsuit are successful in overturning not only the ability of one student to use the locker room consistent with her gender identity, but also the ability of all transgender students to use school facilities on an equal basis as their peers. Excluding transgender students from facilities used by other boys and girls would have a detrimental impact on the lives of these students and the entire educational community in District 211.
We look forward to working closely with the federal government and the school district to defeat this lawsuit at the earliest possible date - to make clear to each and every student in District 211 that they are welcome and will be treated humanely.
Back 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.