Transgender issue leads to $482,000 in legal fees for District 211

Posted1/6/2020 5:30 AM

The last four years of searching for a fair and equitable approach to transgender students' access to locker rooms has cost Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 more than $482,000 in legal fees, though insurance has shouldered some of that burden.

The costs have come from three primary legal proceedings, District 211 spokesman Tom Petersen said.


The first was Student A's federal complaint with the Office for Civil Rights in 2015. Though it never evolved into a court lawsuit, the lengthy administrative proceedings resulted in $287,000 in legal fees, all of which were paid by the district.

The federal lawsuit filed by Students and Parents for Privacy in 2016 cost the district more than $98,000 in legal fees by the time it was voluntarily withdrawn in 2019.

The still pending state lawsuit filed in late 2017 by then Palatine High School senior Nova Maday has cost the district more than $97,000 to date.

For both the federal and state lawsuits, District 211 paid a deductible of $5,000, with its insurance pool picking up the rest of the cost, Petersen said.

District 211 is a member of the Secondary School Cooperative Risk Management Pool (SSCRMP) along with Maine Township High School District 207, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and Glenbrook High School District 225.

"Through the risk management pool, we have significantly reduced the overall legal fees actually paid by District 211, but we anticipate an increase in the district's annual insurance costs, partially related to our claims experience, and need to maintain the funding reserves held by SSCRMP," Petersen said.

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