South Carolina school district bows to Obama policy, lets boy use girls bathroom
SUMMERVILLE, South Carolina, June 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A South Carolina school district has yielded to the Obama Administration policy imposing gender ideology on public schools, and will allow a male student to use female restroom facilities. The district agreed as well to change its discrimination policy in keeping with the Administration’s assertion that gender theory is a civil right.
The parents of a male elementary student in Dorchester County School District Two near Charleston had filed a complaint last August with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, contending that the district’s refusal to give the boy access to the female restroom was a violation of his civil rights because he had begun identifying as female.
Providing access to a private restroom was not satisfactory, the complaint said. “This embarrassed the Student because she was forced to separate from her friends, who would often request to accompany her to the restroom, and because it required the Student to address questions from her classmates about why she was using a different restroom.”
The Office of Civil Rights agreed the district had violated the boy’s rights, The Post and Courier reports, but while the federal agency found the district’s policies and procedures complied with the Title IX federal anti-discrimination law, the district will still “Revise its policies and procedures to include gender-based discrimination as a form of discrimination based on sex” as part of a “voluntary resolution agreement” with the Obama Department of Education.
Despite the threat of lost federal funding implied in the Administration’s May 13 letter of “guidance,” a Dorchester County District Two spokesperson said the policy change was voluntary. Public Information Officer Patricia Raynor told LifeSiteNews that the district has always focused on having a non-discriminatory policy and would submit to the Obama administration’s recommendations.
“We are going to comply certainly with the request,” she said.
Asked how the district would respond to potential parent concerns over male students having access to female restroom facilities, and whether this would constitute discrimination against female students, Raynor said, “We certainly don’t want any child to feel discriminated against.”
The district would not infringe on any students’ rights, she continued, and said district leadership had always listened to families’ concerns and that this would not change.
Roughly 20-25 parents attended the district’s June 27 board meeting, Raynor told LifeSiteNews, several of them making comments of concern over the matter.
In addition to allowing the boy access to the girls’ bathrooms as a result of the Education Department’s agreement, the district must:
- Provide the student and “her” parents with the option of requesting, at any point during the student’s enrollment in the district, that a support team be convened to ensure that the student’s access and opportunity to participate in all programs and activities is not denied or limited based on her gender identity, and is otherwise protected from gender based discrimination at school;
- Revise its policies and procedures to include gender-based discrimination as a form of discrimination based on sex; and
- Provide annual training to district and school level administrators on the district’s obligation to prevent and address gender-based discrimination.
The Obama Administration issued the “guidance” in May directing the nation’s public schools to allow students to use the bathrooms, showers and locker rooms of the opposite sex immediately upon the moment the child states they identify as the other gender.
The directive also insists students be allowed to stay in hotel rooms of the opposite sex on field trips and requires school administrators and staff to refer to the transgender child by their chosen name and identifying gender.
While gender confusion, known as gender dysphoria, is a disorder classified by the American Psychiatric Association, the transgender policy levied on U.S. schools does not require a medical diagnosis or treatment, and threatens loss of federal funds for non-compliance.
Response to the move to push gender theory in schools resulted in pushback, with some parents pulling their children from school, varying districts and states refusing to take part, the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference calling it “deeply disturbing,” and at least 11 states suing over it.
The Berkeley County, South Carolina, School District, which neighbors Dorchester County District Two, opted in April to let students use restroom facilities that correspond with their “gender identity.”