Last Thursday, an Illinois school district ruled on whether transgender students can use any bathroom they choose.

Big news: They can.

As reported by Chicago’s WGN9, at northwestern Palatine High, a meeting was held over whether to give unrestricted access to restrooms and locker rooms to anyone identifying as those facilities’ designated sex.

Nearly 500 people attended, and both sides were given the opportunity to speak.

The updated school policy reads as follows:

“Students shall be treated and supported in a manner consistent with their gender identity, which shall include students having access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity.” 

The decision ends a four-year battle. Two lawsuits — including one on behalf of Nova Maday, a male identifying as female — had been filed against District 211.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Education deemed the district in violation of federal law with its refusal to grant him unfettered access to the girls’ locker room. 

Eventually, school officials agreed to allow him entrance, which resulted in a suit by the Alliance Defending Freedom. That filing — on behalf of two dozen parents and students — was dropped earlier this year.

In 2017, then-17-year-old Nova filed a suit demanding to be able to change clothes in the girls’ locker room’s common area rather than in a private stall. 

In a statement at the time, he claimed the issue was simple:

“To me, this is a simple question — am I going to be treated just like any other girl in my school. All I want is to be accepted by my school for who I am — a girl — and be able to take gym and use the locker room to change clothes like the other girls in my class.”

In 2018, a Cook County Circuit Judge denied a preliminary injunction, which continued to prevent him from changing in the common area.

District 211 Superintendent Daniel Cates explained at the time that the school had other people than Nova to consider:

“We are committed to providing supportive access to our school locker rooms, access that respects and balances the identity and privacy interests of all of the nearly 12,000 teenagers in our high schools.”

As noted by The Advocate, the new policy falls in line with nearby Chicago Public Schools, the rules of which declare that “All students are allowed to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity.”

Senior Mandy Logan thinks the new allowance is fantastic:

“The district should be helping transgender students, not putting more obstacles in front of them, because they face enough already.”

This is, to say the least, monumental.

What awaits?

-ALEX

 

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