Last week, the Transgender Law Center threatened to sue Horry County Schools in South Carolina for unfair treatment of a student. The school system suspended a high school age transgender male student for using the boys’ restroom at his school, according to The Washington Post.
The group now says that the school district has changed their tune and agrees to erase the suspension from the boy’s record and permit students to visit the restroom that matches their gender identity. In addition, Horry County Schools consented to notify the faculty of the restroom access rights for transgender students’.
Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, thanks the school system for doing what is right and treating the transgender students in a fair manner. Hayashi highlights that it’s illegal to ban students from utilizing the bathroom that matches the gender he or she lives as on a daily basis.
Restroom access has recently become a hot topic in the fight over LGBT rights and has led to many debates in various states in the U.S.
The Obama administration argues that Title IX defends the rights of students to use restrooms in agreement with their gender identity.
A Socastee High School statement said that schools in Horry County have not altered the restroom policies for students, but came to the conclusion that students who are transgender, and their parents, can ask for restroom rights that support the latest court ruling. The school administrators, with the students and parents, will decide what is fair and legal in order to obey with the law and reflect on the rights of each student.
The law center said that the student has used the boy’s restroom since middle school, and his freshman, sophomore, and junior years at the high school. In his senior year, the student was told to instead use the girls’ restroom, and was suspended for using a boys’ bathroom in the middle of a pep rally.
After the suspension, the student decided to finish his senior year at an online school.
The student said he is in school to learn. He pointed out that he should be able to use he restroom when he needs to without fear that teachers are following him or policing which restroom he uses.
It’s a shame the South Carolina school went as far as to suspend the student for using the restroom in accordance with his gender. I am glad that after the incident, the school made it a point to inform teachers of the bathroom access rights, but find it frustrating that the student was punished and ended up leaving the school as a result of the way he was treated.
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