Lawsuit: Chicago Families Argue Extensions to Title IX 'Trample Students' Privacy'

Lawsuit: Chicago Families Argue Extensions to Title IX 'Trample Students' Privacy'

Fifty-one Chicago families are suing the U.S. Department of Education over a new policy that forces schools to allow boys and girls to choose which restroom they use based on which gender they identify with.

According to, the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Thomas More Society are representing the families. The lawsuit, filed this week, claims that the U.S. Department of Education is “continuing to trample students’ privacy and other constitutional and statutory rights” by enforcing Title IX, the law that prohibits gender discrimination in schools.

“The girls are afraid of having to attend to their most personal needs, especially during a time when their body is undergoing often embarrassing changes as they transition from childhood to adulthood, in a locker room or restroom with a male present,” the lawsuit says.

In 2014, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights ruled that Title IX also protects discrimination claims against gender identity. Otherwise, schools could lose federal funding for not complying.

In one case in Chicago, a biologically male teen who lives as a girl was allowed by the district to use female bathrooms and play on female athletic teams. However, the student could not use the girls’ locker room and had to change in a separate bathroom. Later, the district put up privacy curtains in the locker room for the student to change.

The OCR, however, found that the curtains were discriminatory and threatened to revoke $6 million in federal funding. The district eventually allowed the student full access to the girls’ locker room.

Publication date: May 5, 2016