Township High School District 211 violated the civil rights of a transgender student for over two years. The U.S. Department's Office of Civil Rights submitted their findings on November 2nd of this year.
In an emergency meeting on December 2nd, the district's school board addressed the issue and approved several steps to bring them into compliance with civil rights laws. Some of the actions they plan to implement include: private changing stations in the girls' locker room, both for the transgender student or any student wanting privacy while changing; reasonable alternative for any students requesting additional privacy within the girls' locker room, beyond a privacy curtain; engaging a consultant with expertise in child and adolescent gender identity to support and assist the district; and of course, access for the transgender student to the girls' locker room at her high school, so she could change in private changing stations in the locker room.
All of this was a huge step forward. An enormous win for trans students and parents. An enormous win for civil rights in a day and age when we shouldn't be having to fight so hard for equal rights. And the Office of Civil Rights implied as much in their press release after the agreement was struck.
Now, the district is backpedaling. The district doesn't like that OCR implied they were setting a precedent on how all districts should treat students equally. They want the distinction made that the agreement they struck applies only to this student, in this case, in this school.
An emergency Board meeting is being held on Monday, December 7th, at 7:30 PM at Conant High School, 700 East Cougar Dr., Hoffman Estates. The Board will vote whether to rescind the agreement, if OCR hasn't retracted their statements.
Please help us stop this from happening.
At the first meeting, supporters against the agreement carried signs, shouted down anyone who tried to speak in support of the trans student and her family, and deliberately misgendered the student.
What can you do?
If you can, show up. Stand in solidarity with this student, her family, and the civil rights of everyone. Bring friends, bring signs, or just bring yourself. If we can show the district that we will not back down, we will not allow them to continue to violate the rights of any student; they will have to listen.
But maybe its too far or too late or just not your thing, and that's okay too. If you can't attend in person, then send them a letter. You can email the school board at email@example.com or Superintendent Cates at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you happen to be a graduate of District 211, be sure to mention that in the letter.
We can't possibly back down now. We cannot let the district rescind this agreement. We cannot let this student's civil rights be violated any longer.
Help us stand up for civil rights. Help us set precedents for trans students everywhere. But more importantly, help us make history for this student and her family.
Help us protect her rights as a human being.
Don't miss my video on Listen to Your Mother where I share my story of Jake's transition.
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