Transgender student may soon access locker room at Hoffman Estates High

 
 
Updated 8/19/2016 5:04 PM
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  • A letter to parents at Hoffman Estates High School Friday says a transgender student may soon be allowed limited access to a gender-specific locker room at the school.

      A letter to parents at Hoffman Estates High School Friday says a transgender student may soon be allowed limited access to a gender-specific locker room at the school. Eric Peterson | Staff Photographer

A transgender student may soon have permission to access a gender-specific locker room at Hoffman Estates High School, just as another transgender student does at Fremd High School elsewhere in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211.

Hoffman Estates High School Principal Josh Schumacher emailed a letter to parents Friday afternoon explaining this imminent change of practice.

"On a case-by-case review, Township High School District 211 and Hoffman Estates High School may provide access to transgender students to the locker room consistent with a student's gender identity based on a student's use of private changing stations within the locker room," Schumacher wrote.

The earlier situation at Fremd High School has resulted in a lawsuit by a citizens group called District 211 Students and Parents for Privacy seeking to reverse the practice at the Palatine school.

Last Monday, a hearing was held in federal court for arguments for and against the plaintiffs' motion to indefinitely suspend the district's agreement with the Department of Education while the merits of the case continue to be considered.

At the hearing, John Knight of the American Civil Liberties of Illinois -- which represents the transgender student at Fremd -- mentioned that another transgender student was about to start attending District 211 and also was seeking a level of access to a locker room.

While the student at Fremd was born biologically male but identifies as female, the new student is the opposite, Knight said.

District 211 officials said Friday they couldn't comment on any individual student or which locker room the transgender student at Hoffman Estates was seeking to access.

"Any student seeking additional levels of privacy may request the use of an alternate changing area by contacting their school counselor," Schumacher continued in his letter. "These details will be shared with students during physical education classes on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 22 and 23."

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