‘I do not want to see a transgender student naked in the locker room. I do not want a transgender student to see me naked in the locker room…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) An Illinois school board voted 5-2 last week to allow transgender students unrestricted access to the locker room of their choice, and the new policy is already creating complications for female students who feel violated by the intrusion.
Chicago’s Palatine–Schaumberg High School District 211 has been caught up in a legal controversy for the four past years after an unidentified transgender student complained that he had been denied access to the female locker room. Last week, the school district finally gave in.
The new policy requires transgender students, along with their parents, to “have communication with the district and come up with a plan” for which restrooms and locker rooms they’ll use, according to Superintendent Dan Cates.
“One of the biggest concerns we continue to hear is the idea that anyone can go in any locker room whenever they feel like it—as if a different gender can be declared at will,” Cates said, according to the Daily Herald.
“That’s not the way it works in District 211,” he continued. “Upon a request from the student’s parent or guardian, a student’s stated gender in the official school record establishes the student’s gender for access to gender-specific facilities.”
But the policy passed by the school board is pretty ambiguous and doesn’t mention parental involvement at all: “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,” it states.
Several students urged the school board not to approve the policy, saying it made them feel uncomfortable and unprotected.
“I do not want to see a transgender student naked in the locker room. I do not want a transgender student to see me naked in the locker room,” one female student told the school board, according to WBBM-TV.
In an email to parents sent last Friday, the school district admitted that there had been significant resistance to the new policy.
“Whatever your view on the adoption of this policy, we all share the same goal of supporting the young people in our schools to experience the best possible learning environment and navigate the challenges and opportunities of young adulthood in healthy ways,” the district said.