Suburban students, parents sue over school’s transgender policy

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PALATINE, Ill. -- Some suburban students and their parents are suing the U.S. Department of Education and a Palatine high school district for allowing a transgender student to use the girls' locker room.

The lawsuit says the Palatine-based district’s policies are creating a “hostile and intimidating environment” for girls as young as 14.

The group called Students and Parents for Privacy filed the lawsuit today, accusing the Department of Education and Township High School District 211 of “trampling” on students’ privacy rights, based on policies that allow transgender students access to the locker rooms and restrooms of the gender they identify with.

The case stretches back several years, with a transgender student who filed a complaint with federal authorities. In December District 211 entered an agreement with the department of education after a federal investigation ruled the district violated Title IX, which bans discrimination on the basis of sex.

The ACLU calls the lawsuit a publicity stunt, as school districts across the country are shifting policies.

Just yesterday Chicago Public Schools announced new guidelines, aiming to create an “open and safe environment” for transgender students and staff.

Dan Cates, superintendent of Township High School District 211, released the following statement:

District 211 affirms and supports the identity of all our students.  Last December, after lengthy deliberations, District 211 reached a highly publicized agreement with the Office for Civil Rights that provided workable solutions protecting the privacy and honoring the dignity of all students.  The District has faithfully honored our agreement with the Office for Civil Rights and our students have shown acceptance, support and respect of each other. We have implemented the agreement without any reports of incident or issue. Individual changing stalls in our locker rooms are readily available to every student and further accommodations that provide even greater privacy remain available upon request.

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