Obama's Education Dept. forces Palatine high school district to bow to transgender locker room edict

UPDATE: A response to Politifact's mischaracterization of the Palatine Township High School District 211 transgender issues is here.

This is my take on Obama's Education Dept. recent  steamrolling of Palatine Township High School District 211 to cave in to a bureaucratic edict that it give a student who is biologically a boy but now defines himself as a girl access to the girl's locker room.

As my article appearing first in the Weekly Standard discusses, it is a story of national significance because it is the first time that the Department of Education has used a threat--possibly illegal--to withhold federal money unless it permits trans students access to the opposite gender locker rooms. As I reported:

This was no small fish that OCR was trying to land. District 211 is Illinois's largest high school district, serving 12,500 students in seven schools from 11 thriving suburbs several miles northwest of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. Having now established a precedent for clubbing schools into accepting the arch-progressive definition of gender, the OCR may be emboldened to visit your school if it sniffs the slightest existence of "transphobia" of the kind it supposedly unearthed in District 211.

But this isn't the last we'll hear of the issue. Federal case law is not on the transgender side. Federal judges have ruled that such an edict is an overreach that stretches Title IX of the Civil Rights Act beyond its original intent. Republican Tom Morrison who represents the district may introduce legislation that would protect Illinois schools from such interference. Others are considering a law suit that would be a slam dunk against the Education Department's actions.

What is so sad about this case is that transgender lobby that packed a public hearing held by the school district failed to acknowledge, even a little bit, that  biological girls using the locker room have even a smidgeon of a right to privacy. How ironic when the progressive agenda supporting such transgender rights considers a female's right to privacy to bury any right that the baby in the womb has to a life. Hypocrisy.

In other words, the progressive agenda isn't so much about compassion and a balancing of rights as it is about "me, me, me."

Read an analysis of case law  (here and here) by the Thomas More Society and Alliance Defending Freedom.

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  • A right to privacy from whom?

  • If you are referring to the issue of choice, the privacy right belongs to a woman whose privacy is to be protected from any interference in a decision she makes concerning her own body (even though another human body exists within it).

    If you are referring to the Palatine issue, the privacy right refers to the right of an adolescent girl not to have to change and shower in the presence of a biological boy. Are you suggesting that no such right exists?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I was referring to this:

    "What is so sad about this case is that transgender lobby that packed a public hearing held by the school district failed to acknowledge, even a little bit, that biological girls using the locker room have even a smidgeon of a right to privacy."

    I don't think it's worth discussing because you first view the child as a biological boy rather than how she views herself, and how the law views her, which is a girl.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Not so. Read the link to the legal opinion and you'll see that for this purpose the caselaw says that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act does not apply. The privacy rights of the girls and their parents isn't worth discussing? One can never predict how any court will rule, but if this ends up in federal court, the odds are that will won't support its legality.

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    I was referring to your description of the child as a biological boy not making it worth discussion.

    However, the girls don't have right to privacy in a locker room FROM a transgender person any more than they have the right to privacy from any girl in a locker room. Their right to privacy isn't at issue here. They are all girls.

    Those legal opinions you shared are just opinions. Here's a link that counters their analysis.


  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    The difference between "just an opinion" and a legal opinion is significant. The latter one has the force of law and a carries with it a precedent that other courts tend to follow.

    The reference you give (Lambda) provides no substantive argument. Some of the cases I cited involveinvolving minors, which is different from the Lambda Legal citation about discrimination in general. Again, this is a case about minors--children. Like the girls I reported on in the article, who are being bullied because they respectfully disagree with the given trans wisdom. Again, these are susceptible, developing adolescents, worried about their own body image (not so much the male genitalia of the trans girl). Why do we have to burden children with this additional burden?

  • In reply to Dennis Byrne:

    How are they being bullied?

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    They said they are being shunned and ridiculed for their views. Bullying does just come from one side of the political spectrum.

  • I would be more sympathetic if the transgender were antomically correct for the locker room.

    Considering that there can be "fluid" states that exist, whilst the child is "deciding" his/her sex, it opens the opportunity for abuse; one day you can "feel" like a girl; and the next "feel" like a boy.

    It will be a cold day in the locker room when there won't be some raving hetrosexual boy who wants a free pass into the girl's locker room.

  • According to the Tribune on Dec. 8, "The Palatine-based district agreed to allow the student use of the girls' locker room based on assurances from her that she would use private changing stations. ... As part of the agreement, any student seeking additional privacy can use the curtained-off area."

    It looks like the agreement protects " the right of an adolescent girl not to have to change and shower in the presence of a biological boy" which concerns Dennis and others.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Oh, sure. (1) The biological boy still is in the same locker room. The school had offered a reasonable compromise, but, oh no, it wasn't politically correct enough. (2) The curtain idea is impractical, especially in the shower. Will the girls who want to take a shower have to line up for a space behind the curtain to open up and how long would it take? (3) The CRO along with the ACLU had stubbornly insisted originally that there be no curtain because it would discriminate against the trans girl. If the CRO and ACLU had its way (and it still will in other settings), full frontal nudity will be the policy in the locker room. (4) The parents of the adolescent girls were completely shut out of any say in the decision. Screw the parents, right? And screw the girls who are concerned about their right to privacy. Some bureaucrat in Washington has decided it is so.

  • I'm having a difficult time comprehending how we've arrived here. The transgender is anatomically a male. There's no man made opinion that can alter that. It's simply fact.

    Jeff - My point here is not to be confrontational, but how can you say they're all girls and honestly believe in that? I support equal rights, but there is no question that this puts the other girls in an uncomfortable situation, yet we overwhelmingly disregard that with this decision.

    Is this really what progress looks like? A recently published article by the NY Daily News leads me to believe otherwise:


  • In reply to Progress:

    You're having a difficult time because you're focusing on anatomy. It's no different than people who don't understand homosexuality because they think it's all about sex. It's not.

    I understand you're not being confrontational but the fact is transgender people do exist, they do have rights and it doesn't really matter what you prefer them to be.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I would make the argument that anatomy is not exactly something you can brush off simply because someone identifies as something opposite of what they actually are, especially in this situation where minors are involved.

    I'm not sure I made mention of what I prefer them to be, but perhaps a little less demanding would be a good choice. Here you have an instance of the majority bowing to the minority because our society is overwhelmed with a movement to fall in line with PC, rather than what's right.

    Why wasn't a private changing area within the girls locker room good enough? That's a victory in itself. Instead the envelope is continuously pushed in name of "rights". How about the rights of the teenage girls that don't particularily feel comfortable looking at the male genitalia in an area that was supposed to be designed to provide them with privacy. I guess the transgender agenda doesn't have time to consider the rights of those who identify as heterosexual females, because they also exist, and they have rights as well.


  • In reply to Progress:

    Our country was founded on the idea that the majority doesn't get to dictate to the minority, the minority has a significant voice and courts often have to stand up for them when politicians and citizens won't as is happening in this case.

    Why wasn't a private changing area good enough? The same reason separate schools weren't good enough for black students. It's a violation of their rights.

    You wrote: "I guess the transgender agenda doesn't have time to consider the rights of those who identify as heterosexual females, because they also exist, and they have rights as well."

    By that argument black students in the 50s were violating the rights of white students who had the "right" to not go to school with somebody they didn't want to. That's about as wrong as it gets.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I suppose you will draw whatever historical comparrisons that best suit your argument, but I have to say I'm not buying it.

    If history had played out differently and the integration of whites and blacks took place on the foundation that black students believed they were actually white students, then you might have something. But that never happened, because it's fantasy.

    You speak of the minority. Let's say I'm a 12 year old boy, but deep in my heart I beleive that I'm actually 22 years old. As the minority in this situation, should I be given special rights so that I can vote and legally drink alcohol in this country? Absolutely not....because that would be absurd.

  • In reply to Progress:

    An apt reply, Progress. Again, I want to emphasize that we're talking about children here. If a trans woman wanted to use my L.A. Fitness male locker room, I wouldn't give a damn, if she could stand the sight of all the flabby nude men walking around as if they were macho, with their swinging packages on display for all to admire. I can imagine the reaction if a trans male paid a visit to the women's locker room there.

    I'm not sure where you find the right for a biological male to display his genitalia to biological females. It's clearly not in the constitution, nor is it found in case law. Assertions made that it's found in Title IX need to be cited. (Bald assertions that it does do not apply).

  • Edit: Jeff = Jimmy.

  • Jimmy, this is a really simple situation to me. When people are born, they are either male or female. You cannot simply declare yourself a particular gender later on in life just like you cannot declare yourself a particular race later on in life. If a white person said they identify as an Asian American, we would all think that is ridiculous, right? You may think I'm some calloused jerk by what I'm saying, but I actually do have compassion for transgendered people. That being said, I have more compassion for the girls in the locker room that don't want to be around a boy that has a penis (that thinks he's a girl). Just because this boy "feels" like a girl, doesn't mean all the other girls see him as a girl and are comfortable changing in front of him. That shouldn't be difficult to understand. This is a slippery slope that we don't want to go down. I 100% agree with Progress.

  • In reply to The Whale:

    "When people are born, they are either male or female."

    You're talking about anatomy. It's not about anatomy. I don't think you're a jerk, I think it's just not understanding something and preferring to side with what's familiar to you.

    That you have more compassion for a cisgender girl who may see something she's not comfortable with than a transgender girl who is dealing with an entire slew of issues (including an entire community descending upon a town meeting to say terrible things about her) is mind boggling.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Jimmy, I was at the second town meeting. An entire community did not descend to say terrible things. All the speakers treated the trans girl with respect. The worst thing that you could say about the remarks was the accusation that some speakers occasionally referred to Student A as "he." Yes, I know, in the book of rules written by America's most sensitive people (the others who disagree being transphobic and mean) that calling a person by his "assigned" sex instead of his chosen gender is a high insult. But I assure you, its was not the hate-filled swarm that you might imagine. I might add that some of the things that the trans advocates said were more hateful.

  • Jimmy--can I as a white male declare myself to be an African-American because I now identify as one?

  • In reply to The Whale:

    Whale, sorry but I'm not interested in the "Oh, can I now marry my dog?" argument that was used to protest same-sex marriage. Because that's what your argument is. It's not about appearance.

    I understand you think transgender people are just confused humans willy nilly making a choice. But it's not.

  • Let it be known that Jimmy cannot answer the question, and rightfully so, because it makes just as much sense as me declaring I am now a female. Maybe I can also declare that the sun won't rise tomorrow and it will be so!

  • In reply to The Whale:

    Nice try, I did answer your question by clearly explaining it's unrelated to our discussion. You don't have to accept my response but declaring that I can't answer the question is very Sean Hannity of you.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I'm interested in this as well. If The Whale is a white male and identified as a black female, is he then only a female, but not black?

    This is a yes or no question. For someone who strongly supports that it only applies to gender issues, you should at the very least have strong support as to why that is so. Not just a statement that you're not interested in that argument simply because it doesn't align with what you feel is right.

    The floor is yours, Jimmy.

  • Yes, she is only a female and not black. Progress, I'll say it again. It's not about appearance.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    That's what I thought, Jimmy. Appearance? Sure it has nothing to do with appearance, it has everything to what the person actually is.

    I'm still waiting on your support as to why The Whale would be female, but not black. Something tells me to expect another two lined response.

  • In reply to Progress:

    "lined response?"

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Translation: Short; Lacking supportive substance. An answer used to fit a biased narrative.

  • So...in the same way that I can "look" like a boy, but be considered a girl....I can't "look" white, but be considered African American?

    You disagree with the article below then?


  • In reply to The Whale:

    I honestly don't know. Gender Dysphoria is considered to be biological as well as emotional, I don't believe Race Dysphoria is biological. I don't have any problem if somebody identifies as black, do you?

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Not particularily no, unless of course it involves an agenda that is constantly rammed down our throats and the forcful placement of a biological male in an underage girls' locker room.

  • In reply to Progress:

    Ah, there it is. The intolerance in you finally came out. Anyone who disagrees with you has an agenda, you really weren't discussing this. Which I knew, but hopefully others reading these comments will learn from your intolerance.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    Intolerance? Am I not merely stating fact? I have plently of tolerance. I simply refuse to give up the values I, and many others, hold in the name of catering to an ideal that you can't even sufficiently explain nor support.

    But I suppose that is the ace up your sleeve. When you've realized the argument has been lost, and you have nothing but an opinion to provide to a situation that actually affects people on both sides, I guess using the "Intolerance Card" would be the easiest way out.

  • In reply to Progress:

    No, you're not merely stating fact. When you write "it involves an agenda that is constantly rammed down our throats and the forceful placement of a biological male in an underage girls' locker room."

    Not male. Not rammed down your throat any more than any civil right is rammed down the throat of the people fighting to prevent it, and underage is irrelevant because nobody in the locker room is overage. Mentioning it is just meant to be inflammatory.

  • In reply to Jimmy Greenfield:

    I'm sorry, Jimmy. But again, I'm not buying it. There are two testicles and a penis to prove that the transgender is in fact a male, further solidifying the ill effects it may have on the girls in the locker room. I think its fair to argue that that's considerably more evidence and support than you have provided thus far. I might also mention that you have failed to do so despite several requests.

    If i'm going to buy into your argument at the price of my daughter's privacy, you better damn well do a better job of selling it. I'm sorry but "it's not about appearances, you wouldn't understand" just doesn't cut it.

    You make mention that the agenda isnt rammed down my throat. Interesting, becasue if I recall correctly, 5 years ago there weren't articles published about 50 yr old men who identify as 6 yr old girls, all the while maintaining a narraitve tone that treats it as a societal norm. Instead of treating it like it is, which is absolutely insane, it's praised under the guise of being courageous. But hey, I guess I have your explantion on how that works to look forward to as well.

  • Jimmy, I'm confused.. You mentioned gay marriage before. The argument for gay marriage was that it is discriminatory to ban it for the same reasons that it was discriminatory to ban biracial marriage. The bigots said that biracial marriage is different because appearances don't matter biologically and the tolerants said that makes no difference that we'll look back on this time and not understand why gays couldn't marry much like how we couldn't understand why biracial marriage was banned. But now you've flipped the coin saying that race is different than gender, that race is not a biological issue and gender is. Do you now believe that gay marriage and biracial marriage are incomparable?

  • In reply to Larry David:

    Yes, you are confused. I compared one question to another, not the issue of gay marriage to the issue of transgender bigotry. The gay marriage issue isn't about gender, it's about equal rights for all. No coin flipped.

  • I'm wondering if anyone can enlighten me. Has there been research that show that transgender people have chromosomes or genes that reflect their gender identification? I've read about research that gay men have a somewhat altered set of chromosomes, thus providing some evidence that homosexuality is not a choice. If there is similar research about transgender people, it might help our understanding. I have also read (including on ChicagoNow) that gender identification for everyone is on a continuum, and not a matter of black and white.

    Not that I have changed my view about protecting the privacy rights of cis girls.

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