District previously found of being in violation of Title IX is sued by another transgender student who says locker room rule is discriminatory.
The district had faced a federal discrimination complaint by another transgender student over the issue of locker room access in 2013.
The matter was settled when the district agreed to accommodate her — the plaintiff was known as Student A — after the district was warned by the Obama Administration that it was violating Title IX, a federal law that bans sex discrimination. It was the first time a school system was found to be in conflict with Title IX rules based on gender identity.
The district eventually allowed Student A, who attended a different high school in the district, to use the girls’ locker room with a private changing station.
The Trump Administration has taken a different tact on the hot-button issue, announcing in February that it was withdrawing Obama-era protections for transgender students in public schools that called for students using bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.
Maday, 18, who was born male but identified as female since 2014, says she and her mother have repeatedly approached school and district officials since 2015 to request access to the girls locker room but have been rebuffed. The district instead offered Maday use of the nurse’s office or in a locked, private changing area – both located some distance from the gym.
This past summer, ahead of the 2017-18 school year, district officials offered Maday for the first time use of the girls’ locker room, but only if she agreed to dress in an unspecified privacy area.
But Maday and her mother refused that offer because the district doesn’t require non-transgender girls to dress in a privacy area, and she accepted a waiver from the P.E. requirement, according to the lawsuit.
“I just want to be treated like every other girl in our school,” Nova Maday said in a statement provided by the ACLU of Illinois, which is assisting her in the lawsuit. “Even after the school district agreed to allow another transgender student to use the locker rooms in her school, they have resisted and made things harder for me. I just want to be able to get dressed for P.E. class without having to jump through a bunch of hoops.”
District officials say the Illinois Department of Human Rights had already dismissed the matter.
“Every transgender student in District 211 who has requested use of the locker room of their identified gender has been offered such access, along with other supports within an individual support plan,” Superintendent Daniel Cates said in a statement.
The school district was sued by a group of parents over their decision to allow Student A into the girls locker room as long as she changed in the private changing station. That lawsuit is ongoing.
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