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Can I Sue The School District For Gender Discrimination Of My Child? 

July 20, 2022

Discrimination based on sex and sexual identity is prohibited under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. So yes, parents can sue the school district of Illinois if they believe their child’s rights were violated in this case. At this point, filing a complaint with appropriate authorities and hiring a gender discrimination attorney in Chicago should be your priority. 

Discrimination based on sex includes discrimination based on pregnancy, parental status, and sex stereotypes (treating a child differently because they cannot conform to a gendered role or meet traditional expectations about their sexual identity). 

Filing a Complaint

Before hiring a gender discrimination attorney in Chicago to sue the school, file a formal complaint with the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) in writing. You can also submit it via the Discrimination Complaint Form, which you can get from their offices. Some of the information you should mention include:

  • Your complete name and address.

  • A phone number.

  • A basic description of the child or class of individuals who faced the alleged discriminatory act. Names are not required.

  • The location and name of the institution that allegedly perpetrated said act.

  • Details about the alleged discriminatory act or act to aid the OCR in understanding the situation, i.e., what occurred, when it happened, and the main basis for the discriminatory act. 

You have 180 days to file the complaint unless the OCR extends the deadline due to relevant causes. 

Determine ‘Cause of Action’

Before suing a school district, you need to establish a ‘cause of action.' This legal term pertains to facts that prove a lawsuit is justified. In other words, if you can prove that specific factors are grounds for a lawsuit against the other party, you can sue them. 

For example, say your non-binary child was denied admission to school because of their gender. In this case, the cause of action would be selective admission practices. The school denied or refused entry to a child based on a category that is protected by constitutional and federal law. 

Suing A Public School vs. a Private School

Contrary to popular belief, the process for suing a public school district is vastly different than that of suing a private one. The former are government entities protected by sovereign immunity, but the latter are businesses owned and run by shareholders or certain private individuals. You can sue a private school without filing the complaint mentioned above. That is why suing a private school is easier and faster than filing a lawsuit against a public one. 

Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith to Sue the School

Schools should be safe places for children, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation. Whether you want to sue a public or private school for gender discrimination, get in touch with our gender discrimination attorney in Chicago at the Law Office of Michael T. Smith for a consultation. We also take on cases based on other protected categories such as religion and workplace discrimination. Fight for the outcome you and your child deserve with our help.