Federal judge dismisses part of lawsuit against trans supportive locker room policy

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Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly's Gender Spectrum Collection. Credit: The Gender Spectrum Collection. Made available to media outlets via Creative Commons. No derivatives, no commercial use. See guidelines here: broadlygenderphotos.vice.com/guidelines

Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly’s Gender Spectrum Collection. 

SCHAUMBURG — The Daily Herald reported Tuesday that a federal judge has dismissed parts of a lawsuit alleging Palatine Schaumburg High School District 211 violated students’ rights by allowing a transgender student limited access to the locker room of their gender identity.

U.S. District Court Judge Jorge Alonso throws out two of five counts in the lawsuit, the newspaper reported. One alleged the district violated students’ right to bodily privacy by requiring girls to potentially expose themselves to the transgender student, saying there is no such right. The other alleged the district policy violates parents’ right to direct the education of their children, saying the doesn’t prevent parents from teaching their children modesty.

From the Daily Herald:

The counts left standing allege the policy violates Title IX regulations against sexual harassment; violates the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act; and violates students’ First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

The judge notes his ruling does not mean the plaintiffs should prevail on those allegations, but that there is a plausible claim that can move forward.

Students and Parents for Privacy sued District 211 in 2016, after school officials brokered a deal with the U.S. Department of Education that allowed a student known in documents as Student A limited access to girls locker rooms at Fremd High School. Student A graduated from Fremd in 2017.

District 211 issued a written statement Tuesday saying the district would “continue to defend our practices that affirm and support the identity of all our students.”

Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is legally representing Students and Parents for Privacy, said he believes the Title IX claim on sexual harassment is sound.

“If we win under Title IX, we should get all the relief we need,” McCaleb said.

He added he believes everyone — and especially adolescent high school students — have a right to bodily privacy.

The Herald didn’t quote McCaleb on his opinion on transgender student’s privacy.

The suit aims to reverse the districts policy. According to the newspaper, a status hearing is set for April 18.

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