Transgender students at north suburban school now have unrestricted access to locker rooms

PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) -- Transgender students in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 will have unrestricted access to locker rooms starting Tuesday.

The decision comes after a four-year fight for equal access to locker rooms for transgender students. The school board voted 5-2 in favor of the decision back in November.

The battle over gender identity and who can use which locker room began in 2015 when the U.S. Department of Education said District 211 violated federal law by denying a student who identified as a female unrestricted access to the girls' locker room.

RELATED: Palatine transgender student denied unrestricted locker room access

"The walk from the separate locker room to the gym class was humiliating and made me feel like my school did not recognize me as the girl I am," Nova Maday, transgender student told ABC7.

Two federal lawsuits were filed on the issue, one by two transgender students who claimed discrimination from the school, the other from students and parents who opposed the unrestricted policy.

RELATED: North suburban school district to consider changing locker room policy for transgender students

The board's decision didn't immediately smooth over the divide in the community.

"I do not want to see a transgender student naked in the locker rooms," one female student said.

Board members said the policy will only allow students who have officially identified as transgender to use the locker room that corresponds to their identity. These guidelines are in line with federal standards, the board said.
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