Illinois transgender teen denied bathroom access

PALATINE — A transgender teen in Palatine was denied an court injunction that would have allowed her immediate, unrestricted bathroom access.

The Daily Herald of Arlington Heights reported that Nova Maday, 18, had sought the injunction to lift the district’s requirement she use a private changing area inside the girls locker room during her final semester at the school. She is already suing High School District 211 for access. Unlike other times when court orders have been sought over access, the decision was made by a Cook County court, not a federal court.

From the Daily Herald:

“I am disappointed with the decision today,” Maday said in a statement released through her legal representatives at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. “To me, this is a simple question — am I going to be treated just like any other girl in my school. All I want is to be accepted by my school for who I am — a girl — and be able to take gym and use the locker room to change clothes like the other girls in my class.”

John Knight, LGBTQ & HIV project director for the ACLU of Illinois, also responded in a statement after Judge Thomas Allen’s ruling.

“Clearly, we are disappointed in this decision,” he said. “We continue to believe that the school is wrong to discriminate against our client. There is no exception under our nondiscrimination laws that allows a school to treat transgender students differently because of lack of understanding or discomfort about transgender people.”

ACLU of Illinois spokesman Ed Yohnka said the ruling did not address any discrimination Maday might be experiencing. He said the ruling is based on an incorrect interpretation of the Illinois Human Rights Act.

This is only the latest legal battle over bathroom access for transgender students in District 211.