Trans rights protected as anti-trans bathroom rights candidates lose election
Candidates who pledged to remove trans students’ right to choose their bathroom have lost their election.
Three parents running in Chicago’s High School District 211 were members of Parents for Privacy, which is taking the district board to a federal court over a trans girl being allowed to use the girls’ facilities.
The three members of the group, which represents more than 50 families, had promised to overturn the decision if they were elected to the board yesterday, but they were defeated.
Instead, unofficial results showed that two incumbents and a former member who support trans access were elected, the Associated Press has reported.
“I think the community is aware of the transgender issue, but is supportive of the solution that we came up with because it was the most fair for all students,” Anna Klimkowicz, one of the board members, told the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights.
The district board agreed to let a trans girl – known only as Student A – use the locker room of her choosing after pressure from federal officials.
Klimkowicz, who has been a board member since 1997, told the Chicago Times that the district’s policy has functioned seamlessly, with no violations or bullying that she had heard of.
“It has to be reviewed, but right now restricted access is working,” she said.
The district changed its rules to accommodate Student A after the department of education under Obama ruled that it was discriminating because of her sex.
This was the first time federal officials had come to this conclusion against a school district, and led to the board providing access after the government threatened to withhold millions in funding.
As for the girl at the forefront of the controversy, known as Student A, she told the Chicago Times that the issue of trans access to toilets and locker rooms was being blown out of proportion.
“Honestly, (students) are sick of this issue. They think it’s quite ridiculous,” she said.
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Two other students who have intervened in the federal lawsuit to try to stop any rollback of the access provided to Student A will now also be able to keep using their bathroom of choice.
Another student at a different school is also fighting for access to the girls’ locker room, which has thus far been denied to her.
Parents for Privacy has been supported financially by Richard Uihlein, a business and long-time Republican donor who has given millions to conservative causes and candidates including Ted Cruz.
Fights over trans youth’s access to locker rooms and toilets are going on all over the country, exacerbated by Trump’s decision to reverse Obama’s transgender bathroom protections.
In Wisconsin, teenager Ash Whitaker is set to take on his school district in a federal appeals court.
He alleged he was discriminated against by the district’s bathroom policy, which he said required trans students to use the wrong bathroom and to identify themselves with green bracelets.