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District 211 School Board Votes to Make It Possible for Transgender Students to Gain Unrestricted Access to the Locker Room of Their Gender Declaration

Fri November 15 2019 11:02 pm  https://www.arlingtoncardinal.com/?p=579687
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The Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board on Thursday night voted to grant transgender students unrestricted access to the restrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify. CBS 2’s Tara Molina reports.

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members Thursday November 14, 2019 voted 5-2 to lift a requirement that students use privacy stalls, applying a policy structured and categorized under an Equal Educational Opportunities premise. Transgender students had opposed the requirement to use privacy stalls, instead of being allowed to freely use the gender locker room that they declare is their gender, without the discrimination they perceive is encroached by the privacy stalls requirement.

According to District 211, the proposed and approved policy affirms that all students will have equal access to educational opportunities and facilities. The District 211 board declared that the policy at the proposal stage was reviewed by legal counsel and the Administrative Board Policy Group comprised of Board President Robert LeFevre, Board Vice President Anna Klimkowicz, Associate Superintendent for Instruction Lisa Small, Associate Superintendent for Student Services Mark Kovack, Director of Administrative Services Matthew Hildebrand, and Assistant to the Superintendent Kathe Lingl.

EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNTIES (sic)

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.

The Superintendent shall appoint a Nondiscrimination Coordinator.

— District 211

Board members Robert LeFevre, Jr. (president), Anna Klimkowicz, Edward Yung, Kimberly Cavill, and Steven Rosenblum voted to approve the policy. Board members Mark J. Cramer and Peter Dombrowski dissented.

Board member Ed Yung took the identity politics approach by declaring, ”I myself have been the subject of discrimination all my life. I know what these people are fighting for.”




Superintendent Dan Cates stated that upon a request from the student’s parent or guardian, a student’s stated gender in the official school record establishes the student’s gender for access to gender-specific facilities.” Cates admitted that there is confusion among the student body and parents regarding use of locker rooms saying, “One of the biggest concerns we continue to hear is the idea that anyone can go in any locker room whenever they feel like it — as if a different gender can be declared at will. That’s not the way it works in District 211.”

The word ‘gender’ is mentioned eight times in the Fremd High School Student Handbook for 2019/2020; but the word is only mentioned related to a student’s classification of gender in the permanent record (“official school record”), and related to guidance on bullying and harassment in the BULLYING/HARASSMENT section (capitalization added). Nowhere in the manual is there any clarification or guidance about how a transgender student should make a claim about gender identity, or about what a student should do if they feel insecure about their privacy in a locker room.

The phrases “privacy stalls” and “locker room” do not even occur in the 2019/2020 student handbook. Also, the word “transgender” and the phrase “gender non-conforming students” do not appear in the handbook.

Cates claimed that there has been no disruption caused by transgender and gender non-conforming students sharing locker rooms with other students since the current practice was established nearly four years ago. However, not all students and parents agree with that claim.

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