Transgender Student Sues Suburban School District Over Locker Room

A transgender student at Palatine High School filed a lawsuit last week, alleging that the school district has denied her rights.

The legal action is the second suit the district has faced over its treatment of transgender students, with this plaintiff claiming that little has changed since a former student complained about the very same issue.

Nova Maday, a senior at Palatine, said Tuesday that she has been asking the school to use the girls' locker room since she was a freshman.

"I'm just a girl. I just want to be like the other girls and change for my gym class," she said Tuesday.

"They said I can change in the locker room if, and only if, I change behind a separate privacy area," Maday continued.

In the past, Maday said the district let her use a private locker room formerly used by staff members, before it was removed for renovations.

"I don't want to be forced to change in an area other girls aren't required to change in because there's nothing different between me and them," she said.

Now, she's taken the dispute to court, with a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

The district superintendent said the allegations in the lawsuit "misrepresent the accommodations extended to this student," going on to say that "every transgender student in District 211 who has requested use of the locker room of their identified gender has been offered such access, along with other supports within an individual support plan."

This lawsuit mirrors a 2013 case that made national headlines and resulted in a group of parents suing the district after a settlement was reached with the unidentified transgender student.

However, the settlement only applied to that student.

"All I want is to just be treated like a girl and to use the locker room just like every other person and go to gym class," Maday said. "I don't want some special accommodation where I'm not equal.

Maday is seeking damages for emotional distress, and her lawsuit asks the court to order the district to allow all students to use the locker room that matches their gender identity.

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