We represent Nova Maday in her lawsuit against her high school and School District 211 who have discriminated against Maday in use of the locker rooms because she is transgender. The lawsuit, filed in late November 2017 seeks use of the locker room without restrictions for Ms. Maday, who has been fighting for such locker room use since her sophomore year.  She is now a senior, and we hope to get a court order allowing Maday to use the locker room in time for the second semester of her senior year.  District 211 was the site of our earlier involvement on behalf of Student A, after that student also was denied use of the appropriate locker room because she was transgender. In both instances, the District has offered incomplete solutions, suggesting that students who are transgender can dress in separate areas or behind privacy curtains inside the locker room.

The case was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  In January 2018, the Circuit Court denied a motion for preliminary injunction – that would have allowed Ms. Maday to use the locker room during the second semester of her senior year.  The decision was particularly alarming since the court adopted an argument that public schools can discriminate in how facilities are used as long as students are given access to those facilities.  

We appealed this decision to the Illinois Appellate Court.  In late 2019, the Court sent the appeal back to the Circuit Court, not based on the substantive questions raised, but because Ms. Maday now had graduated from high school.  We filed an amended complaint on March 12, 2019.

Find more information about our work in District 211 on behalf of students who are transgender in another case, Students and Parents for Privacy.


John Knight and Ghirlandi Guidetti (ACLU of Illinois), Jeffrey H. Bergman (Mandell Menkes LLC), Neil Lloyd, Jamie Davis, and Carly Weiss (Schiff Hardin LLP)

Date filed

November 30, 2017


Circuit Court of Cook County


Honorable Thomas R. Allen



Case number

17 CH 15791

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