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 ...
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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