Hey, this is interesting.
The Chicago Tribune reports on a federal lawsuit challenging a high school's decision to let a transgender student use the girls locker room.
And guess what? The coverage is fair, balanced and informative. It's mostly just the facts, ma'am.
So what's the Tribune's secret?
The newspaper sticks to the simple lessons learned in Journalism 101. You know, the ones about reporting the relevant facts (without taking sides) and giving each side an opportunity to make its case — with a proper amount of background to put the lawsuit into a broader perspective. I do have one question about the story that I'll ask below.
But let's start at the top:
A group of suburban students and parents is suing the U.S. Department of Education and Illinois' largest high school district after school officials granted a transgender student access to the girls locker room.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court Wednesday, the group contends that the actions of the Department of Education and Palatine-based Township High School District 211 "trample students' privacy" rights and create an "intimidating and hostile environment" for students who share the locker rooms and restrooms with the transgender student.
"Students have an expectation of privacy in restrooms and locker rooms, and that expectation is violated when a school puts the opposite-sex student in those kinds of private and intimate facilities," said Jeremy Tedesco, attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, a religious legal advocacy group representing the plaintiffs.
The group also asserts that the Department of Education's inclusion of gender identity under Title IX, which aims to protect against discrimination based on sex, is unlawful.
Wednesday's lawsuit is the latest development in a heated national debate on the rights of transgender people in public spaces. Chicago Public Schools this week announced that transgender students will be able to use restrooms and locker rooms of their gender identity. Last month, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of a transgender student in Virginia who is seeking access to the boys restroom. Meanwhile, North Carolina recently adopted a law that limits public bathroom access for transgender people, though the U.S. Justice Department on (sic) said Wednesday that the law violates federal civil rights protections.