Palatine school district considering locker room policy change for transgender students

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PALATINE, Ill. — The Palatine school district is considering a policy change that would allow transgender students unlimited access to locker rooms.

A District 211 school board meeting was held Thursday evening, and people on both sides of the argument had their say.

District 211 was previously sued over its restrictions on transgender students, who claimed the school's policy was discriminatory.

The district currently requires transgender students to use private stalls when they want to change.

“As we all know, a lot can change in four years," Dan Cates, District 211 superintendent, said. "In those four years, understanding and acceptance of transgender identity have advanced."

The controversy over bathroom and locker room rights dates to 2013, when a transgender student filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. She was seeking full access to the girls’ locker room.The student, Nova Maday, was at Thursday's meeting.

One supporter of the locker room policy change said it's time for District 211 to change since "things have changed in the world."

Another supporter said the district needs to protect all students, including those who are transgender.

One parent, Lisa Casalino, said she thinks allowing transgender students to use the locker room that corresponds with their gender identify is inappropriate.

"It is inappropriate and I am here to represent concerns that I have about my twin daughters' privacy," she said at the meeting.

Another parent, said, "What keeps me from saying today I feel like a woman and I’m gonna go into a woman’s washroom?”

In a district of about 12,000 students, less than 12 identify as transgender.

A Palatine resident, Frank Skorski said he "wants his tax dollars spent on education, not indoctrination."

No decision was made at the meeting.

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