Transgender child can pick restroom at South Carolina school

An elementary transgender student is allowed to use the bathroom which fits her gender identity. File Photo.

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Education says a South Carolina school district has agreed to let a transgender elementary school student use the restroom with which she identifies.

Transgender issues have been widely debated in recent months, and President Barack Obama's administration has directed public schools to allow transgender students use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

The Department's Office for Civil Rights said in a statement that Dorchester District 2 had violated Title IX, which protects students from sex-based discrimination. The district originally denied the student access to the girls' bathroom because she is transgender, according to the office.

The district has agreed to comply with Title IX requirements, the office said.

The voluntary resolution calls for the district to revise its policies and procedures to include gender-based discrimination as a form of discrimination based on sex and to provide training to administrators on the subject, among other measures.

"I commend (the district) for committing to protect the civil rights of all students and ensuring that all students have equal access to education programs and activities," said assistant secretary for civil rights Catherine E. Lhamon.

District 2 officials didn't immediately comment on the agreement.

In April, nearby Berkeley County said students could use the restroom with which they identify.

Melissa Moore, executive director of We Are Family, a nonprofit that provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth, said she hopes school districts will develop their own policies protecting transgender students, or risk facing a lawsuit like the one in Dorchester 2.

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The Gayly - 6/22/2016 @ 11:52 a.m. CDT