Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chicago School Refuses to Let Transgender Girl Use Girl's Locker-room

Township High School District in Chicago, Illinois has recently declared they will not allow Transgender teenagers to use the locker room of their transitioned gender.
This all began when a transgender girl of many years who was recognized in class and sports as a girl, asked her permission to finally use the girl's locker-room. This request was brought to the School's District office, where the Superintendent answered that this was a very touchy subject because of other student's feelings about their privacy. The School District had concerns for how girls would handle it, for this had been a new issue to the school district, and did not know how other students would react. They agreed to let the transgender girl use the girl's locker-room, however it was required she use private stalls rather than use communal areas. The School District stated this was for the privacy and respect toward all students.
An official with the American Civil Liberties Union made an announcement that they believed this was "blatant discrimination" due to the School District's request the transgender girl change in a private stall. The official thought that everyone should be exposed to equal treatment, and that this girl was not receiving that.
I believe the School District created a fair compromise with the transgender girl and the other students. I support the LGBT community completely, but realistically, not every girl would be comfortable with the idea to let this girl in, and I think allowing her to come in and change in a different area is okay. I do acknowledge this could be viewed as discrimination, but these sort of issues are relatively new to some areas, and I think this is a good beginning approach to dealing with these.
This reminds me of the conversation we discussed in class when a baker refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, and it was deemed discrimination. It also reminds me of the current events discussion we had in class talking about the secretary who refused to give gay couples wedding licenses, which was also considered discrimination.
How do you guys feel about this? Do you think the School District handled the situation well? Why or why not? Would you consider this discrimination, explain.
Sources: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2015/10/14/school-district-refuses-to-let-transgender-student-use-locker-room-defying-federal-officials/
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-transgender-student-locker-room-palatine-met-20151012-story.html
http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/1022712/suburban-district-challenges-education-department-transgender-students-request-locker-room-access

6 comments:

Tara Young said...

I agree with Meghan. The school district tried to create a compromise that was agreeable to the most people. I do not think that it was "blatant discrimination" because they did try to compromise. It would not be fair to impose the will of the transgender girl on the rights of all the other girls if they were not comfortable with it. Also, the district tried to appease the transgender girl as much as possible without taking away the right of privacy of the other students. I think it was a good compromise. It is not required to change in the communal area also. Another girl, not the transgender girl, may prefer to change in a private stall, so it is not an extreme request that the transgender girl change in a private stall.

Tara Young said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teague Bredl said...

I think they handled it well the second time, despite the strong titles of the articles, I think they actually were just being careful. I think equality is important, but we also have to be realistic. You wouldn't install urinals into a women's bathroom for the sake of fairness. There's not much more they could do to help the girl, I think transgenders should be treated as equally as possible but I think you may have to respect the feelings of all the other girls (even if they are close minded). If I was in the position of the rest of the girls, I frankly wouldn't want to be seen by anyone because I'm so ugly so I think wanting privacy isn't really discrimination. Making her change in a private stall (at least for the guys' locker room at Aragon) isn't that uncommon for others anyway. Among all these stories of discrimination, I don't think this is truly on of them.

Adjon Tahiraj said...

I feel like the ACT administration did the most they could and handled this to the best of their ability. There is nothing they can really do in this case when mail is lost. Of course this should never happen in the first place, but once it happens there is nothing they can do about it other than give the kids a free test and their money back. I feel like problems like this can't happen in the 21st century. What if for one of those kids, this was their only time they took the ACT and it was the last date before before college apps and they had never taken it before. I know this is a very extreme scenario, but what if it was the case. Due to reasons like this is why the ACT and SAT need to make sure there will be no mistakes when they administer their tests. In this case I don't think bureaucracy had anything to do with it necessarily.

Jared Mayerson said...

I have to respectfully disagree with some of the previously stated opinions that claim that the school district's actions were not "blatant discrimination." I do understand that they were seeing it as the best compromise, but that doesn't change what it is: "blatant discrimination." Discrimination is defined as the, "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing is perceived to belong to rather than on individual merit," and that is exactly what happened. This transgender teenage girl did not feel happy in her male body and was put at a disadvantage because of this. The previous opinions are saying that, because she wanted to be who she truly felt she really was, she had to give up some of her freedoms. I can't understand why that would make sense, especially in the context of what we learn in class. We learned that all americans are guaranteed equal rights, and this violates that. One can not argue that, "it would not be fair to impose the will of the transgender girl on the rights of all the other girls if they were not comfortable with it," because it goes both ways. The other girls have the option of changing either in the communal area or the stalls, but she could only change in the stalls. I understand that some, or even most, of the girls may feel uncomfortable with her changing there, but that does not get to limit her freedoms. As I commented a few weeks ago on a "Kim Davis" post, people cannot limit the freedoms of other law abiding citizens because of their beliefs. If the girls feel comfortable, they can exercise their freedom to change in the stalls, whereas she is forced to do this. We learned about tyranny of the majority and that applies here. Even if a majority believes in a certain thing, they cannot make a decision that places their interests above a minority. The school district, although trying to help everyone, helped everyone but her. This only remains a "touchy" subject as long as we allow it to be one.

Jared Mayerson said...

*If the girls feel uncomfortable