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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Department of Education investigation of Township High School District 211 (Palatine, IL) ED-IL-0006
Docket / Court 05-14-1055 ( No Court )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Education
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
In 2014, a transgender high school student filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against Township High School District 211, in Palatine, Illinois. The plaintiff asked asked for an order allowing her to use the girls' locker rooms, claiming that ... read more >
In 2014, a transgender high school student filed a Title IX complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights against Township High School District 211, in Palatine, Illinois. The plaintiff asked asked for an order allowing her to use the girls' locker rooms, claiming that not allowing her to do so constituted discrimination on the basis of sex. Specifically, the complainant claimed that she was forced to change in restrooms that lacked equal facilities, was reprimanded after entering girls' locker rooms where no one was changing in order to take advantage of the better facilities, and that her arrangement differentiated her from other female students and gave students a reason to treat her differently.

On July 13, 2015, OCR notified the school district of its decision that the district's treatment of the complainant constituted sex discrimination in violation of Title IX; the parties began negotiating an agreement. However, on October 12, 2015, the district informed OCR that it would not resolve the Title IX violation voluntarily. On October 27, 2015, the district put up privacy curtains in one of the girls' locker rooms but stipulated that the complainant would be required to use the privacy curtains. This requirement led OCR to reject the plan.

On November 2, 2015, OCR released a letter of findings detailing its findings about the district's Title IX violation and declaring that if an agreement was not reached within thirty days, it would issue a letter of impending enforcement action, potentially suspending the district's federal funding or referring the case to the Department of Justice.

Under this strong pressure, the school district agreed to a settlement on December 3, 2015. The resolution agreement included the following commitments by the district:
  • Provide the student with access to the girls' locker rooms at her high school based on the student's request to change in private changing stations in the girls' locker rooms.
  • Protect the privacy of its students by installing sufficient privacy curtains within the girls' locker rooms at the high school to accommodate the transgender student and any students who wish to be assured of privacy.
  • Provide a reasonable alternative for any student requesting additional privacy

    Katherine Reineck - 11/15/2015


    compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Student assignment
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-basis
Gender identity
Sex discrimination
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq.
Defendant(s) Township High School District 211
Plaintiff Description A transgender high school student who was denied access to girls' locker rooms
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2015 - 2017
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance
http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/index.html
Posted: Sep. 17, 2008
By: United States Department of Education—Office of Civil Rights (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Discrimination Complaint of [student] Against [high school] 12/05/2013
ED-IL-0006-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Letter of Findings 11/02/2015
ED-IL-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
AGREEMENT TO RESOLVE Between Township High School District 211 and the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights 12/02/2015
ED-IL-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Knight, John A. (Illinois)
ED-IL-0006-0003
Rapport, Adele (Michigan)
ED-IL-0006-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Smith, Jennifer A (Illinois)
ED-IL-0006-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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