LGBTQ advocates hope Palatine transgender locker room decision leads to more change

PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) -- A longtime battle over over transgender access to school locker rooms within School District 211 is over.

Despite the concerns of some students and parents, the four-year fight for equal access for transgender students ended Thursday night, when the board voted in favor the new motion.

RELATED: Palatine school board votes to give transgender students unrestricted access to locker rooms

Advocates who fought for LGBTQ rights say they hope that the results from this battle will lead school district's decision could lead to more changes across Illinois.

Nova Maday, a Palentine High School graduate, led the campaign to improve access for transgender students. She was among those who shared her experience and hopes the other students will be able to feel safe and conformable at school.

"I jumped up out of my seat. "I was crying it was a win, it was a huge win," Madday recalled. "It's been four years coming, it could not have felt better to be there in person to see the district make history."

RELATED: Palatine transgender student denied unrestricted locker room access

The ACLU of Illinois worked on Maday's case. The Ed Yohnka, the ACLU of Illinois's Director of Communications and Public Policy said the District 211's shift will impact students across the state.

"There's a growing understanding of the importance of recognizing people for who they authentically are," Yohnka said.

The Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago, which empowers young people to advocate for themselves, is currently assisting school districts with new policies and procedures to comply with laws protecting access for transgender students.

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

"They know what they're talking about, they know what they need and the best thing adults can do is just listen, said Grecia Magdaleno of the Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago.

Officials working on these types of policies expect more school districts in Illinois to put policies in place, not only for transgender students, but also for transgender staff.

"We are seeing a large interest across the state in having us facilitate those conversations," Magdaleno said.

District 211 will implement the new policy in January 2020.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.