NW suburban families file lawsuit in transgender locker room case

A group of 51 suburban families filed a federal lawsuit against their Illinois school district, the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday, alleging that the district is violating students’ privacy and safety by allowing transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify.

Northwest suburban Township High School District 211 was forced to do so by the Department of Education, which charged that not accommodating the locker room choice of one transgender student who filed a complaint with the federal agency was a violation of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex.

But the lawsuit filed by Alliance Defending Freedom and the Thomas More Society, on behalf of the 73 parents and 63 students, maintains that the 1972 federal law actually authorizes schools to retain single-sex restrooms and locker rooms, and Title IX is being unlawfully redefined by the Department of Education, which has overstepped into Congress’ purview in broadening its interpretation.

“Protecting students from inappropriate exposure to the opposite sex is not only perfectly legal, it’s a school district’s duty,” said Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom.

“Allowing boys into girls’ locker rooms, a setting where girls are often partially or fully unclothed, is a blatant violation of student privacy.

The school district should rescind its privacy-violating policies, and the court should order the Department of Education to stop bullying school districts with falsehoods about what federal law requires.”

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