Bigots reacted angrily when told that School District 211 would continue to discriminate albeit conditionally by unlawfully allowing a single trans student partial rights.
“Why don’t you protect “all” students” one attendee shouted, whilst another complained that they were unfairly accommodating a “single” student.
The school board announced Thursday in the video below that they would grant the transgender student who filed the OCR complaint, and only the individual student, limited access to public accommodations saying.
“This agreement applies solely to the individual student who filed the OCR complaint and does not require a district-wide policy” The agreement makes no reference to the district violating any regulations and laws and we reiterate the District categorically refuses the notion that it violated any law or regulation or discriminated in any way.”
Immediately after the meeting with High School District 211 the Department of Education issued a Press Release praising the District for “full compliance” including drafting for approval a district-wide non-discrimination policy. The agreement which can be read in full here states in part “The agreement By January 15, 2016, the District will draft and submit to OCR for review and approval a revised notice of nondiscrimination on the basis of sex that meets the requirements of the Title IX regulation…”
High School District 211 Superintendent Daniel Cates issued a press release basically saying that they never agreed:
“The OCR has informed Township High School District 211 of its allegation that District 211 has violated Title IX by not providing a transgender student unrestricted access to the locker room. We do not agree with their decision and remain strong in our belief that the District’s course of action, including private changing stations in our locker rooms, appropriately serves the dignity and privacy of all students in our educational environment.”
Like their signs say, haters never settle for anything but unfettered discrimination.
District officials have angrily accused the federal Office of Civil Rights of “blatant disregard for the facts” of the settlement according to the Chicago Tribune
“We are outraged by the mischaracterizations” about the agreement, Palatine-based District 211 said in a news release Friday afternoon. “It is wrong, it is an act of bad faith and our school district will not let it stand. … Citizens have a right to expect more from a federal agency than smoke and mirrors.”
At first the Illinois ACLU which represented the young student praised School District 211. But when it became clear the following day that the District never intended to follow the agreement they issued the following statement.
“Superintendent Cates’ intemperate and inflammatory statements this afternoon are disappointing. Clearly, the District remains committed to a path of discrimination and division, rather than moving toward healing, understanding and inclusion.
“In its letter of findings, OCR found the District in violation of Title IX for refusing to allow our client in the locker room unless she agreed to change behind a privacy curtain. Similarly, the resolution agreement fails to condition our client’s locker room access on whether she uses the privacy curtains.”
“Our client should be treated as every teenage girl, with the right to exercise her own sense of modesty and privacy. Threatening to cut off our client’s access to the locker room if she does not promise to use the privacy curtains exclusively simply moves her current segregation from a separate room to a space inside the locker room, as OCR already concluded.”
“After being caught in their repeated misrepresentations of this matter over several weeks, it is strange to see the District accuse someone else of acting in “bad faith” and engaging in “smoke and mirrors.” It is time to end this hostile and cynical public relations campaign and for the leadership of District 211 to create an open and welcoming environment for all students – as other school districts in Illinois and the nation have already done.”
Incredibly there have been news reports which indicate that the trans student would by her own accord honor others wishes to privacy and would willingly change behind curtains.
But this case has become bigger than her, now that the District is knowingly breaking the law. It will be interesting to see if the Education Department does cut off their 6 million in funding as they threatened to do. Or will they acquiesce to bigotry?
The gauntlet has been thrown. Will the OCR pick it up?