The U.S. Department of Education said Monday that a suburban Chicago school district is violating the rights of a transgender student by refusing to allow her the unrestricted use of a girls’ locker room.
Education Department officials and lawyers for the student say the decision was the first of its kind on the issue.
The student, with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a federal complaint against Illinois’ Palatine Township School District 211, asking for unrestricted access to the locker room. The district had proposed a compromise that would allow access but require the student to change and shower in a separate area.
“All students deserve the opportunity to participate equally in school programs and activities — this is a basic civil right,” Education Department Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Township High School District 211 is not following the law because the district continues to deny a female student the right to use the girls’ locker room.”