During the District 211 Board Meeting on November 14th, our client Nova Maday was able to address the Board and the crowd before the vote. She shared her experience in the district, and asked for the Board to approve this policy in hopes that future students will be treated with full and equal access in District 211.
Superintendent Cates and Members of the Board:
My name is Nova Maday. I am a 2018 graduate of Palatine High School, and a 4-year attendee of this District.
More to the point – I am one of the students who has sued the district over its policy of denying students who are transgender full and equal access to the locker room.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you this evening. You will hear a lot of voices tonight – on both sides, and some that are angry.
Too many of those voices will never know the pain of being treated differently because of who you are, because of the person you know yourself to be.
At first I was completely excluded from dressing for gym in the girls’ locker room and forced to change in the auxiliary locker room. This was isolating and drew attention to me that I didn’t want. The walk from that separate locker room to gym class was humiliating and it made me feel like my school did not recognize me as the girl I am. The same was true when the district told me I could use the girls’ locker room, but only if I agreed to change in a separate area that the other girls were not required to use.
I just wanted to be treated like any other girl.
But I did receive positive support and recognition when I was in school – from my classmates and fellow high school students. Throughout my time in high school, the vast majority of my classmates treated me like just another female student – and allowed me to be myself.
Those students have been waiting for you to change this policy. They have never seen this as a controversy and only want to be inclusive and supportive of other students.
You have a chance tonight not just to change policy. You have the chance to set an example about respecting all students and treating them equally, no matter who they are. You should take that chance and act.