The board members of the Palatine Township High School District who approved a policy allowing a transgender student to use the girl's locker room survived an election challenge that had been put in place by uncomfortable parents.
The suburban school in Chicago has a policy that allows transgender students to use the locker rooms and bathrooms of the gender with which they identify with. The policy encouraged three opponents to run for the school board. The unofficial results that were released on Tuesday indicated that two officials and a former member who supported the transgender policy had been elected.
One of the board members, identified as Anna Klimkowicz said that the community was aware of the transgender issue and that it was supportive of the solution offered by the school since it was fair to all students. The district is set to be sued by more than 50 families who are calling themselves Parents for Privacy. The parents say that the transgender policy violates other students' privacy rights. The parents who supported the lawsuit were against the school’s policy. They got their financial support from a donor who has given millions to conservative causes.
The co-founder of Parents for Privacy, Vicki Wilson, said that parents have an expectation to see that private areas such as locker rooms are designated by biological sex. The school had previously offered a separate changing facility for the anonymous student. However, President Barack Obama's administration threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding.
The district was also accused of violating Title IX legal protections against sex discrimination. In response, the district made a deal with the student in December 2015. The deal allowed the transgender student to use the girls' locker room with the understanding that she would use a private changing station that other students also can access.
The controversial decision on whether students should have access to restrooms in accordance with their stated gender identity, or just their sex at birth has been left to school districts and states. This is after President Trump’s administration cancelled Obama administration guidance. It’s therefore the responsibility of states and districts to interpret the U.S. anti-discrimination law.