CHICAGO (AP) — The decision about whether to stop transgender students at a suburban Chicago school from using girls’ locker rooms lies with a federal magistrate judge.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert said during a hearing Monday that he’ll issue a report with his recommendation to U.S. District Judge Jorge Alonso, though the timeline of that report wasn’t clear.
The injunction request stems from a lawsuit filed by the conservative group Students and Parents for Privacy on behalf of dozens of parents with links to Palatine-based Township High School District 211. The suit argues that federal authorities forced the district to adopt a policy that tramples on the privacy rights of other students.
One transgender student at William Fremd High School drew attention to the issue in November when she complained to the federal Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights that she was denied access to facilities for the gender she identifies with. In response, federal authorities found the school district in violation of Title IX, the federal law that bans discrimination based on gender. The student hasn’t been identified.
The district in December allowed the student access to locker rooms to settle the complaint. The settlement allowed the district to keep millions in federal money and forgo possible legal action.
The lawsuit argues that female students at the high school “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.” Classes at Fremd started Monday.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which represents the transgender student, filed a motion to intervene in the case.
“The plaintiffs and their counsel have insisted on cruelly mis-gendering our client and suggesting that being transgender is a ‘delusion,’” ACLU of Illinois spokesman Ed Yohnka said. “These acts are outside the mainstream of medical and scientific understanding and have a very detrimental effect on our client and other transgender students.”
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WBEZ’s Tony Arnold contributed to this report.