Judge to decide next week on transgender student using girls' locker room

A Cook County judge will decide next week whether a transgender student at Palatine High School will get unlimited access to the girl's locker room.

The 18-year-old says she has been illegally excluded from changing with the other girls at the school. But opponents say that's not appropriate.

"I just want to use the locker room like every other girl and change for my gym class,” said Nova Maday.

Maday says all she wants is to be treated like every other girl at Palatine High School.

The 18-year-old transgender senior went to court Friday, asking for a restraining order that would allow her full access to the girl's locker room.

Currently she's allowed to use the girl's locker room, but must change in a separate, private area. Her attorney says that's a violation of the Illinois Human Rights Law.

"The problem here is to impose rules on someone because they're transgender that are not imposed on other people. That sends a strong signal to my client and is very harmful to her,” said attorney John Knight.

"It's caused a lot of anxiety and depression. There were days I could barely make it through school because I wasn't able to change in the locker room,” Maday said.

Lawyers for District 211 say they are doing everything required under the law to accommodate Maday, while also balancing the concerns of parents and other students.

Although Maday identifies as female, Maday remains anatomically male.

"Since the plaintiff is anatomically male, she can be, he can be, excuse me, restricted from the girl's restroom, from the girl's locker room,” said Thomas Olp.

"Children do get fully undressed in these spaces. And my children do not change clothes--they're boy and girl--they don't change clothes with each other at home. Why would it be different at school?” said parent Vickie Wilson.

Cook County Judge Tom Allen called the case a "monumental balancing act" -- and said he will decide whether Maday gets unrestricted access to the girl's locker room when the case goes back to court on Thursday.

District 211 says it is making the same accommodations for Maday that it has for several other transgender students over the past few years.

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