Transgender Student Locker Room Access – 2021 District 211 Board of Education Election Candidate Questionnaire


Gabe Classon and Maya Nayak

The Viking Logue sent out a questionnaire to all nine candidates in the District 211 Board of Education race. See all of the candidates’ responses to one of the questions below. See here for The Logue‘s full coverage of the April 6 election, including the candidates’ responses to other topics on the questionnaire.

After five years of vocal community input from both sides of the issue, the district in January 2020 implemented a policy to allow transgender students unrestricted use of the locker room corresponding to their gender identity. What approach should the district take toward transgender student locker room access?

Curtis Bradley: While assisting struggling students, I believe the District must evaluate equity. We must focus on the whole student and ensure that every student’s needs are being considered when making decisions on how to best serve that student. We all have individual needs that differ from others. I would like to see flexibility and innovative solutions based on the whole child, rather than addressing the students’ needs as a whole.

Denise Wilson: The current Board addressed this policy and without knowing the details I can not comment.

Robi Vollkommer: The candidate did not respond to this question.

Kristen Steel: At this point there are no further steps to take towards access. The next debate will be the fairness of competition. Biology versus identity. This battle is on the horizon for the US Supreme Court to decide. The impact on young women will be profound. It is important that young women realize the choice being made on their behalf. The sacrifices that will be asked of them to support transgender individuals in the arena of athletics.

Jessica Hinkle: This topic is relatively a moot topic because actions have been taken and this has been closed out. However, I will say that when deciding to make a change to policies that impact the entire student body not and in the future, the safety and wellbeing of the entire student must be taken into consideration and the actions should result in the best outcome for all of the student.

Roxanne Wittkamp: The board adopted a policy of equality and fairness which covers all students, including transgender students. The policy is in place because it provides the guidance needed for all students. Due to the adopted policy, all students must be treated equally.

Anna Klimkowicz: As a board member I support District 211’s commitment to providing and maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment for all students. The Board utilized all of its resources to provide that safe environment and will continue to do so. The district has developed a policy that was worded by the district and not the court or outside sources. The policy and the procedure provide the district with direction and oversite to maintain equal educational opportunities for all students.

Tim Mc Gowan: For me, equity is one of the three pillars of my campaign. I am an ally to the transgender community, and I support ways to be as inclusive to students who identify as transgender as possible. I believe they should have access to the locker room that matches their gender identity, and we should also make sure to have policies that protect our transgender students from bullying and harassment.

Regarding the lawsuit, the district should have settled in their decision earlier. The decision to protect transgender students’ rights is not one that should have taken four years. I have had the chance to speak with community members who also believe that time and resources were drained during this process. Instead of the four years of fighting and the possibility of continuing to fight, the district’s focus should have been protecting the student’s civil rights, saving taxpayer money and resources, and setting an inclusive precedent from the beginning.