Suburban school district faces another suit from transgender student

PALATINE -- A school district in the NW suburbs has become a battleground in the fight over transgender student rights again, after a second student filed a suit against Township High School District 211.

For the second time, a transgender student is suing the district, demanding access to the girl’s locker room. In the lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday, 18-year-old Nova Maday says school officials have been denying her the use of the girls’ locker room during physical education class. She claims she’s been singled-out and forced to change in a nurse’s office or a separate locker area. As a result, Malay's suit says the school hurt her grades, and her sense of well-being.

Maday is suing for court-ordered access to facilities that match their gender identity, damages, and to be treated like everybody else.

"First and foremost, she’s a girl. And all she wants to do in the context of high school, is be treated like every other girl,” said Ed Yohnka, ACLU of Illinois. "High school is tough enough. It’s a tough enough time to grow without the school telling you that your identity somewhat isn’t valuable enough."

This district has been down this road before, making national headlines when a transgender pupil filed a similar complaint in 2013, and an investigation found the district had violated federal law. The district says it works to protect the rights of all its students in all cases, at all times.

In a statement released Thursday, Superintendent Dan Cates says:

“The allegations in the lawsuit misrepresent the accommodations extended to this student and District 211’s approach to working with and supporting transgender students.”