Office for Civil Rights Reaches Settlement With Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina Over Transgender Discrimination

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Office for Civil Rights Reaches Settlement With Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina Over Transgender Discrimination

June 22, 2016

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights announced today that it has entered into a voluntary resolution agreement with Dorchester County School District Two in South Carolina, after finding the district in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 for discriminating against a transgender elementary school student. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects all students from sex-based discrimination.

“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,” said Catherine E. Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights.

OCR concluded that the district violated Title IX because the female transgender student was not given access to the girls’ bathroom as a result of her transgender status. However, OCR determined that the district’s policies and procedures complied with Title IX.

The district voluntarily agreed to enter into a resolution agreement and to take the following actions:

  • Provide the student with access to the girls’ bathrooms at her elementary school;
  • 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.

A copy of the Jun. 16 letter of findings can be found here, and the agreement is posted here.

OCR’s mission is to ensure equal access to education and promote educational excellence throughout the nation through the vigorous enforcement of civil rights. OCR is responsible for enforcing federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination by educational institutions on the basis of disability, race, color, national origin, sex, and age, as well as the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act of 2001.