When the federal government bullies a school district to allow a boy into the girls locker room, that’s when you know the government has gotten too big.
That’s exactly what has happened to the Palatine Township School District in Illinois this week.
A biologically-male student at a district high school was denied access to women’s showers in the locker room due to his biological status as a male. The school made efforts to create a private shower facility for the student, so that the female students wouldn’t feel uncomfortable in the showers, but that wasn’t good enough for the ACLU, who took the case to the Department of Education claiming discrimination.
After being threatened by the Department of Education (DOE) with the loss of millions of dollars in federal funding, the school district is being required to implement an entirely new set of policies to deal with transgender and opposite-gender-identifying students. The DOE declared that the district was in violation of Title IX requirements because they held that locker room and bathroom facilities would be made available according to biological gender.
Not only has the school district been saddled with the responsibility of making structural changes to their facilities, but they’re now also being mandated to provide a “support team,” to make sure the transgendered student is happy and feeling included, as well as ensure that all facilities the sports teams visit have adequate space for the biologically-male student to change and shower in the comfort of female-only facilities.
School districts across the country are now being forced to comply with new guidelines to accommodate all transgendered students’ specific requests. In this case, the Department of Education required the Palatine, Ill. Township School District to:
- Provide the student with access to the girls’ locker rooms 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—beyond the privacy afforded by the privacy curtains—in the girls’ locker rooms. Examples could include use of another private area or assignment of a locker in near proximity to the office of a teacher or coach.
- Coordinate with hosts of off-campus, district-sponsored activities to arrange for the transgender student to be provided access to facilities for female students.
- Engage a consultant (who may be a district employee) with expertise in child and adolescent gender identity, including transgender and gender nonconforming youth, to support and assist the district in implementing the resolution agreement.
- Establish a support team, if requested by the transgender student and her parents, to ensure that she has access and the opportunity to participate in all district programs and activities, and is otherwise protected from gender-based discrimination at school.
- Adopt and publish a revised notice of nondiscrimination on the basis of sex. And,
- Provide OCR with a copy or detailed description of all gender-based discrimination or harassment complaints or incidents.
Parents showed up outraged at the most recent School Board meeting, where the Board voted 5-2 to approve changes to the policy to allow any student who identifies as a woman to use the women’s shower facilities, even if they are biologically male.
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