Civil Rights

ACLU will seek to intervene in lawsuit over transgender student access to high school locker room

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois plans to move to intervene in a federal civil rights lawsuit filed last week by a group of parents and students who are unhappy about a suburban Chicago high school district’s settlement of a complaint by a transgender student.

Under the school district’s pact with the U.S. Department of Education, it agreed to provide full access to the girls locker room at Township High School District 211 in Palatine to that one student, based on her promise to use a private changing stall. The district also planned to provide additional private changing stalls for other students.

Ironically, an ACLU representative expressed disappointment at the time the settlement was reached that it wasn’t broader. However, the ACLU wants to be a party in the subsequent lawsuit filed by opponents to the pact so that it can defend the settlement, according to the Chicago Tribune (reg. req.) and the Daily Herald.

The settlement opponents say in their lawsuit that the agreement to let the transgender student use the girls locker room violates the privacy of other students.

Spokesman Ed Yohnka said the ACLU likely would seek to dismiss the suit, the Herald reports. But while it continues, the group will try to see that parents and students who support the locker-room settlement have a voice.

“Many have expressed anger at the misstatements and factual inaccuracies advanced by those filing the lawsuit last week,” he said in a Tuesday written statement. “More have voiced concern about any effort to reverse policies that treat all students, including those who are transgender, in a fair and equitable way.”

Related coverage: “School’s pact with feds over transgender locker room access sparks new lawsuit”

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