A federal judge has delayed issuing a decision Monday in the case involving locker room access for a transgender student at Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211.
Oral arguments were heard this morning on a preliminary injunction requested by a group of parents challenging the policy. Instead of approving or denying the injunction, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert said Monday that he will issue a report detailing his recommendations on the case to U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso.
Through an agreement reached in December between the school district and U.S. Education Department, a transgender student was granted access to a gender-appropriate locker room with the requirement that she use private changing stations inside the facility.
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 a changing room in a separate facility.
Parents opposing the policy argue that the Education Department 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 the Thomas More Society, want the student's locker room access blocked until the case is decided in court.
Girls in the school reportedly "live in constant anxiety, fear and apprehension that a biological boy will walk in at any time while they use the locker rooms and showers and see them in a state of undress or naked," according to the lawsuit.
The ACLU of Illinois, which represents the transgender student, and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance intervened in the case. Back in June, the ACLU of Illinois released a letter on behalf of parents and students in the district who support giving transgender students access to restrooms corresponding to their gender identity.
In their open letter, students and parents urged the district to "vigorously" challenge the lawsuit and "defend the policies that have already been implemented without incident."
Meanwhile, the new school year began today in District 211.
UPDATE (5:15 p.m.): John Knight of the ACLU of Illinois released the following statement on today's oral arguments in the case:
This morning's hearings clearly illustrated two important facts. First, the lawyers for the plaintiffs refuse to recognize that Student A is a girl and that transgender students must be treated according to their gender identity for purposes of gendered spaces such as restroom and locker rooms. Their confusion and insensitivity was demonstrated anew by the lawyers' decision to mis-gender our client and to assert that transgender people are delusional while intersex persons are 'imperfections of nature.'
At the same time, the plaintiffs failed to explain or demonstrate any harm to female students sharing the locker room with Student A, while failing to recognize the clear harm that would result from the relief that have sought - exclusion of Student A and other transgender students from the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, which challenges their basic identity and humanity, suggests that they should be ashamed of who they are, and puts them at serious of long-term emotional and psychological injury.
We are confident that the judge will recognize the harm being done to our clients and other transgender students and deny the motion for a preliminary injunction.