Transgender students at a Summerville-area school district will be able to use the restroom of their gender identity under a settlement reached with federal education officials.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced Wednesday it has entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with Dorchester County School District Two, after saying it found the district in violation of Title IX discrimination rules. The Education Department has recently expanded its interpretation of the law against sex-based discrimination to include transgender students.
In this particular case, the federal office said an elementary school student was not allowed to use the female restroom because she was born male. But the agency also said the incident was isolated and that Dorchester 2’s policies are in compliance with Title IX.
“I commend Dorchester County School District Two for committing to protect the civil rights of all students and ensuring that all students have equal access to education programs and activities,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon said in a statement.
According to the announcement, Dorchester 2 voluntarily agreed to enter into a resolution agreement. District officials could not be immediately reached for comment, but did agree to provide the affected student with access to the girls’ bathrooms, the option of requesting a support team be convened to ensure access and opportunity to participate in all programs, protection from discrimination at school.
The district neighbors Berkeley County Schools. Berkeley became the first school district in South Carolina to formally adopt a transgender restroom and locker room use policy after an appeals court ruled school districts must allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their identity.