201511.03
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Schools Found to Have Discriminated Against Transgender Student

Schools Found to Have Discriminated Against Transgender Student

On Monday, the Obama administration weighed in on the issue with the release of a report slamming a suburban Chicago public school district for not providing a transgender student with access to the girls’ locker rooms.

Transgender DiscriminationThe report found that Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Ill., unfairly denied the transgender teenager — who was undergoing hormone therapy but had not undergone gender reassignment surgery — access to school facilities in violation of Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The principal objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs and to provide individual citizens effective protection against those practices.

The 14 page report concluded that forcing a student to dress in a separate restroom for changing, which in this case was down a long hallway from the locker room, violated Title IX because it separated and stigmatized that student solely because she is transgender. The investigation made clear that the District’s claims about any problems resulting from ending the discrimination were unsupported both because other students were not concerned about the issue and because, in general, girls do not fully undress when getting ready for gym or many sporting activities. And to the extent that any girl wanted extra privacy, the District should offer them private areas to dress rather than isolating students who are transgender.

In states around the country, transgender students have fought for the right to use their high school facilities, with mixed results. In Virginia, a transgender teen is suing the Gloucester County School Board for the right to use the boys’ restroom. In Southern California, two trans students recently won settlements with separate school districts over alleged harassment and unequal access. Currently, nearly half of all U.S. states — including Illinois — now prohibit discrimination against transgender people, with scores of cities following suit.

To learn more about discrimination, please visit: www.LineschFirm.com

Article by: Nina Totenberg, Visit: www.aclu-il.org