Equity: Lawmaker Wants Transgender Students To Use Separate Changing Areas

Jan 21, 2016

Legislation sponsored by a Northwest suburban lawmaker would require school boards to tell students they could only use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their sex. Males with males. Females with females.

Republican Rep. Tom Morrison of Palatine says he sponsored the legislation to create an “objective standard."

State Rep. Tom Morrison, a Palatine Republican
Credit Office of State Rep. Tom Morrison

"The vast majority of students are minors, and so it is appropriate that if they’re in school,  we need to make sure that we ensure their privacy within those changing areas.”

But Mike Ziri, policy director of Equality Illinois, says the measure would violate the rights of transgender students.  

Mike Ziri, policy director of Equality Illinois
Credit Equality Illinois

"It sends a message to the transgender students that, in a place where they should be able to develop and grow, and be welcomed and affirmed for who they are, they’re not.  Their dignity is challenged by this bill."  

The issue came to the forefront late last year when a high school in Morrison’s district was accused of violating the civil rights of a transgender student.