A suburban Chicago school district is defying the federal government over locker room accommodations for a transgender student.
The district believes it’s trying to do the right thing for their 12,000+ students, but many say they are doing an injustice to this transgender student in the process.
Superintendent Daniel Cates says the district takes this matter very seriously. He says in a phone interview with WGN, “In the past we have not had opposite sex students in the locker room and to have opposite sex students in areas that are open, that are available for showering, that are available for changing clothes, that is a matter that we take very seriously and this policy would undo that.”
His statement comes after a student who identifies as female has asked to use the ladies room and has been denied. She didn’t just accept their decision though and has taken her concern to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The district has announced to provide her with a private changing area after she filed a complaint against the school. However the ACLU says this decision puts the school district in a precarious position where they could face losing funding and potentially face discrimination charges against a young student who is already vulnerable.
In a country where transgender students face potential bullying this type of nonacceptance from the school district breeds an environment for this student to be outcasted and unaccepted.
Neither the school or the ACLU will reveal the identity of the student, but she says she is well accepted among her peers and has identified herself as a female for many years and hasn’t faced a problem like this before.