Illinois families considering appeal after court declines to protect student privacy
CHICAGO – A federal court Friday declined to temporarily stop an Illinois school district from enforcing policies that authorize a male student to use the girls’ locker rooms. Because the decision allows an ongoing risk of privacy violations while the case continues in court, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing 51 families say that they are considering an immediate appeal.
“School policies should promote the rights and safety of all students, no matter who they are, but the school district placed its political preferences ahead of that and ahead of the law,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. “Because the court should have suspended the district’s privacy-violating policies, we will likely appeal.”
The district opened its schools’ restrooms to the opposite sex—without informing parents—and then opened the girls’ locker room to a boy after the Obama administration’s Department of Education threatened the district’s federal funding. Under the Trump administration, the agency rescinded the Obama administration’s attempt to rewrite federal law and restored the longstanding interpretation of Title IX.
That 1972 federal law prohibits schools from discriminating “on the basis of sex,” which for more than 40 years has meant “male” or “female.” Title IX’s existing regulations specifically state that a school receiving federal funds can “provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” without putting that funding at risk.
ADF attorneys represent families consisting of more than 130 students and parents in the lawsuit, Students and Parents for Privacy v. United States Department of Education, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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