The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Illinois, and Mayer Brown LLP represent three students their parents, along with the Illinois Safe School Alliance, in a case about public schools requirements to allow students who are transgender to use the restroom and locker room appropriate for their identity. 

The ACLU of Illinois has been involved in District 211 since 2103, representing Student A, who was denied access to the girls’ locker rooms, and instead being forced to use a separate and isolated restroom as a changing area. After a two year investigation, the Office of Civil Rights found District 211 in violation of Title IX in a landmark decision and set out to work with the District to end discriminatory practices against transgender students.

On May 4, 2016 Students and Parents for Privacy filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, and District 211. After hearing from dismayed community members who were disappointed with the actions of those individuals seeking to reverse fair treatment of students who are transgender in their community, the ACLU and ACLU of Illinois filed a motion to intervene on behalf of concerned students and parents.

In November 2016, a federal magistrate judge denied the plaintiffs motion for an injunction barring the District from enforcing the agreement with the Education Department or continuing to permit students who are transgender using the appropriate restroom. 

In July 2017, the Trump Administration announced they would no longer enforce the agreement.  

In December 2017, Judge Alonso affirmed the magistrate’s ruling denying the plaintiffs an injunction.  

In April 2019, Students and Parents for Privacy moved to voluntarily dismiss this lawsuit. The Judge approved the dismissal.

With the dismissal of the lawsuit, students who are transgender in District 211 continue to be able to use the restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The District has more work to do to end its policy of segregating students who are transgender in locker rooms and to put in place an explicit policy that that requires equal and respectful treatment of students who are transgender. 

Find more information about our work in District 211 on behalf of students who are transgender in another case, Maday v. D211.


John Knight (ACLU of Illinois), Timothy Bishop, Britt Miller, Laura Hammargren, Catherine Bernard, and Linda Shi (Mayer Brown LLP)

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Mayer Brown

Date filed

May 26, 2016


U.S. District Court


Judge Jorge Alonso



Case number