In the intervening years, federal officials pressured Township High School District to agree to let a transgender student use the girls' locker room, sparking a backlash that's prompted a group of candidates to run for the board who promise to roll back such access. But after federal officials threatened to withhold millions of dollars in funding, the board agreed to let the student use the girls' locker room, with the understanding she would use a private changing station to which other students also have access. High School District school board candidate Ed Yung, who supports the current agreement, unloads yard signs from the trunk of his car to post near polling places on Monday, April 3, in Hoffman Estates. Other students, she said, tell her she's changed policies and minds. Incumbent Robert LeFevre Jr. Opponents counter that the issue affects all students who must share a locker room with someone who may be biologically of the opposite sex. Even in controversial cases where other community members raise objections, policies are worked out after a few school board meetings, Yohnka said. So while taxes, facilities and quality of education have traditionally been core issues for the northwest suburban district, transgender access has become the new flashpoint. For the April 4 election — in which five candidates will vie for
Opponents counter that the issue affects all students who must share a locker room with someone who may be biologically of the opposite sex. Now, board members who were once accused of discriminating against transgender students have become the target of outrage by some parents who don't think bathroom and locker room access should be based on gender identity. High School District school board candidate Ed Yung, who supports the current agreement, unloads yard signs from the trunk of his car to post near polling places on Monday, April 3, in Hoffman Estates. Transgender advocates argue that inclusion is crucial to vulnerable students' sense of belonging. But the student at the forefront of the case says transgender access to bathrooms and locker rooms is a nonissue for her fellow students. Even in controversial cases where other community members raise objections, policies are worked out after a few school board meetings, Yohnka said. But other students are also asking for access in the district. She said she's used the privacy stalls in the locker room without hassle, as many other students have. They think it's quite ridiculous," said the student, who asked not to be named. Under former President Obama, the U. Wearing a shirt that says, "Visible for those that can't be", a District high school student has a portrait taken in the rain at Community Park in Palatine on Monday, April 3, The district had previously granted the student, known as Student A, access to the girls' restrooms and an athletic team. Ed Yohnka, spokesman with the ACLU of Illinois, which represented the transgender student, said while the organization doesn't get involved in elections, it's keeping a close eye on the race. For the April 4 election — in which five candidates will vie for So while taxes, facilities and quality of education have traditionally been core issues for the northwest suburban district, transgender access has become the new flashpoint. Department of Education ruled that District was in violation of Title IX legal protections against sex discrimination — the first time federal officials had reached such a conclusion against any school district. Backers say the transgender policy violates other students' right to privacy. Vicki Wilson, who co-founded the parents' group, said students who've been victims of sexual abuse may feel emotionally traumatized by having someone of the opposite biological sex in their locker room. The controversy arose from the case of an anonymous student who filed a federal complaint seeking access to the school locker room. More than 50 families calling themselves Parents for Privacy are taking part in a federal lawsuit against the district, with support from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian group. Incumbent Robert LeFevre Jr. School officials had previously offered Student A a separate changing facility. CBS Chicago A school board election in northwest suburban Palatine has become a battleground in the fight over bathroom access for transgender students. Their campaign has even drawn financial support from well-known donor Richard Uihlein of Lake Forest, who has donated millions to conservative candidates and causes. She worries that, depending on the outcome of the election, "other students could have to go through what I went through before the agreement or even worse. Students who feel safe and supported are able to work to their potential and take full advantage The district installed changing stations at all five of its high schools, though the agreement with Student A ends in June, after she graduates.
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