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Trans Student Can Choose Bathroom at South Carolina School, Says DOE

/ Source: Associated Press
DURHAM, NC - MAY 11: A gender neutral sign is posted outside a bathrooms at Oval Park Grill on May 11, 2016 in Durham, North Carolina. Debate over transgender bathroom access spreads nationwide as the U.S. Department of Justice countersues North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory from enforcing the provisions of House Bill 2 (HB2) that dictate what bathrooms transgender individuals can use. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)Sara D. Davis / Getty Images

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.

 US President Barack Obama speaks at the Democratic National Committee's Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Leadership Gala in New York, June 23, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) SAUL LOEB / AFP/Getty Images

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.

 DENVER, CO-June 24, 2013: Six-year-old Coy Mathis, along side her mother, was front and center during a press conference on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol to announce that the Colorado Civil Rights Division has ruled in favor of Coy Mathis, whose school had barred her from using the girls bathroom at her elementary school because she is transgender, June 24, 2013. Coy was labeled male at birth, but has always known that she is a girl, which she has expressed since she was 18 months old.(Photo By RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images) RJ Sangosti / Denver Post via Getty Images

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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