School District Election Focuses On Transgender Restroom Policy

CHICAGO (CBS) — A school board election in northwest suburban Palatine has become a battleground in the fight over bathroom access for transgender students.

Three seats are up for grabs at Township High School District 211, and candidates from “Parents For Privacy” have been pushing hard to fill those spots. The group takes exception to the district’s policy allowing a transgender student to use the girls’ locker room.

In 2015, District 211 decided to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms or locker rooms of the gender they identify with. The district agreed to change its policy on transgender bathroom use after the U.S. Department of Education under President Obama said District 211 was violating the law by not allowing a transgender student at William Fremd High School to have unlimited access to the girls’ locker room.

Supporters of “Parents For Privacy” have argued the transgender policy violates other students’ rights. They said allowing someone of the opposite biological sex in a locker room or restroom could unfairly traumatize victims of sexual abuse.

The group’s candidates have vowed to roll back the policy, while making accommodations for children with “special requests.”

Incumbent board members have said the current policy has not caused any issues at the district’s schools.

The election for the three open seats in District 211 will be held Tuesday. Polls will be open from until 7 p.m.

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