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District 211 reaffirms transgender locker room deal

Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members Monday quietly reaffirmed an agreement with the federal government over a transgender student’s access to a girls locker room after resolving a difference of opinion on its interpretation.

The decision to take no further action on the settlement came after another lengthy closed executive session, which followed another two-hour public-comment session — this one in front of about 600 people and including much support for the transgender student and the agreement the district and a federal agency reached to accommodate her, the Daily Herald reports.

The agreement between the district and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights allows the student access to a girls locker room with a separate changing area.

“We believe this is the best course of action for this student while balancing the needs of all the teenage students in our district,” school board President Mucia Burke said after the board emerged from about the two-hour closed session. “The district will accommodate gender-identified locker room access for this student predicated on agreement to use the privacy measures provided.

“We are installing privacy curtains in our locker rooms, with the assurance that this student will use them,” she said.

About three-fourths of the 39 people speaking publicly at the meeting spoke in support of the transgender student or the agreement. The dissenters called for the agreement to be rescinded.