Two Berkeley County high schools are allowing transgender students use the restroom with which they identify, apparently the first in what could become a trend following a recent federal court ruling.
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose five-state jurisdiction includes South Carolina, ruled in a lawsuit involving a Virginia school district last week that transgender students should be given access to the bathrooms that match their gender identities — rather than those that match their biological sex.
According to the Post and Courier, Cane Bay High School said that transgender students can use the restroom of their choice. Berkeley High School issued a similar policy. Berkeley County, located north of Charleston, is South Carolina’s third-largest county geographically.
The district issued a statement saying it has a legal and professional responsibility to maintain the privacy of its students and staff and that they will offer no further comment on any matter that could compromise the privacy rights of any BCSD student or staff.
Meanwhile the public school district that covers South Carolina’s largest county, Horry County Schools, is threatened with a lawsuit over its own lack of a policy. A letter from the Transgender Law Center sent to the district last week on behalf of a Socastee High School student who identifies as male and was told to use the female restroom. The district says it is not able to talk about specific cases involving its students, but officials maintain they comply with Title IX regulations regarding transgender students.
State Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg, filed a bill requiring transgender people to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates, not how they may identify themselves. That bill, however, essentially died Wednesday since it did not clear committee before a critical deadline to have a chance of becoming law this year.