PALATINE – Parents of students attending District 211's five high schools are being made aware that when the second semester starts in January, the new policy of opening locker rooms to transgender students will be in effect.
Last Thursday night, the District 211 board – which oversees five high schools, including Conant, Fremd, Hoffman Estates, Palatine and Schaumburg – decided males identifying as females and females identifying as males may have unrestricted access to either sex locker rooms.
But parents also should know their students have options concerning privacy.
"The privacy areas in our locker rooms will remain in place for any and all students who wish to use them," D211 Superintendent Dan Cates wrote to parents via email last Friday. "Parents and students who request additional privacy may seek assistance from the student's guidance counselor to request one of several accommodations.
"Our locker rooms are large areas, and we can easily change the location of a student's locker. Any student may use one of numerous private changing areas. If desired, a student may also request a locker in a separate, different locker room."
D211 Parents for Privacy – who have been opposing the new policy – offer parents a permission slip online that requests privacy for their students.
The group's suggested wording says the parent of a specific student opposes "full, unrestricted access to private facilities by the opposite biological sex and hereby formally request privacy for my child while using district facilities including, but not limited to: bathroom facilities, all locker rooms (PE, swim, athletic) overnight accommodations on school trips, and any other spaces previously designated by biological sex."
Those requests are to be send to the child's guidance counselor, principal, superintendent and board of education, the instructions say.
But the new policy doesn't just apply to locker room use. It also applies to athletic opportunities, including college scholarships, D211 Parents for Privacy says on a handout describing the effects of the new D211 District policy:
Equal educational and extracurricular opportunities shall be available for all students without regard to color, race, nationality, religion, sex, sexual orientation, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, gender identity, status of being homeless, immigration status, order of protection status, actual or potential marital or parental status, including pregnancy. Any student may file a discrimination grievance by using Board policy GAC/JA/KAA, Uniform Grievance Procedure.
No student shall, based on sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity be denied equal access to programs, activities, services, or benefits or be limited in the exercise of any right, privilege, advantage, or denied equal access to educational and extracurricular programs and activities. Students shall be treated and supported in a manner consistent with their gender identity, which shall include students having access to restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity.
While transgenders are celebrating crossing the hurdle in District 211, the movement is expected to be pushed onto other school districts and neighboring park districts. Nova Maday, a transgender male identifying as a female, says the change is the first step in many more things the transgender movement desires to see change.
District 211's policy has drawn national attention – applause among the transgender community and resistance among conservative groups.
"We have hit a point in which the culture is so desperate to achieve 'social justice' that it is willing to roll back all the progress made by women in the last century in order to provide 'progress' for the lunacy that is the left’s new gender orthodoxy," wrote Western Journal columnist Andrew J. Sciascia Thursday.
"And if our public institutions are recognizing and legitimizing that orthodoxy, then we are teetering on the edge of a cultural cliff from which a fall would undoubtedly be crippling," he wrote.