Feds Back Transgender Rights In School
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
The federal government gives considerable money to school districts and uses that not only to help the districts but also to ensure compliance with federal regulations. That dual purpose was shown as recently as November 2, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.
An unnamed transgender student, who attends a suburban Chicago high school, identifies as a female, is listed by her school as a female, plays on female sports teams for the school and uses girls’ restrooms. In conjunction with sports, swimming and physical education, the student uses three locker rooms. However, the school district required the student to use a separate changing facility outside one girls’ locker room and to use installed privacy curtains on a stall in another locker room.
Believing the locker room situation stigmatized her and often made her feel abnormal, the student filed a discrimination complaint in 2013, with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union.
On November 2, 2015, the federal government found that the school district’s locker room arrangements for the student are discriminatory and gave the district 1 month to provide full access to the girls’ locker rooms or lose its federal funding.
In 2014, the school district received $6 million in federal funding, all of which is contingent on complying with federal regulations, including non-discrimination regulations. Consequently, the school intends to comply.
That compliance is being given despite strong disagreement with the ruling. The school district believes the government’s decision is a “serious overreach” which is “critical for schools nationwide.” The district is correct in believing the ruling has wide-ranging effects. At a time in which America is broadening its awareness of transgender concerns, the ruling will likely affect school districts across the nation.
A video about this Chicago school district case and the sometimes-hostile comments about transgender rights are all found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjtMsOBVnEY
By Kathy Catanzarite
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.