Transgender students in Illinois district now have unrestricted access to bathrooms, locker rooms

Published: Nov. 15, 2019 at 6:59 PM CST
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A battle over bathroom and locker room access for transgender students in northwest Illinois is over.

The nearly four-year fight ended Thursday with a very heated public comment.

The district said all that really matters here is equality, and they believe that its change in policy represents that. The district vote was 5 to 2.

Transgender students in the five high schools within District 211 now have unrestricted access to locker rooms and restrooms. Until now, students were told they could use the nurse's office or private stalls to change clothes.

That was the case in 2017, when Nova Maday sued the district over locker room access, calling it policy discrimination. She graduated but came back for the vote, calling it an important message for everyone that she's waited a long time for.

"I don't want anyone else to have to go through what I went through. It's just a win. It really is. It's a huge win for us. It's something we've been fighting for for years and other students have been fighting for for years and to see this finally happening, is just huge and exciting," she said.

The district superintendent addressed one of the concerns with this policy, that it could mean that anyone could go into any restroom or locker room at any time.

That is not the case here. This policy requires that a parent and a student have a conversation with the district and develop a plan.