California School District Settles with DOJ: Transgender Student Can Use Boys' Bathroom

By Penny Starr | August 9, 2013 | 11:11am EDT

Gender neutral bathroom sign (AP Photo)

( – The Arcadia Unified School District in Southern California will now allow a female ninth grade student to use the boys’ bathroom after the Department of Justice launched a discrimination investigation based on a complaint.

“Under the agreement, approved by the district’s school board unanimously last night, the school district will take a number of steps to ensure that the student, whose gender identity is male and who has consistently and uniformly presented as a boy at school and in all other aspects of his life for several years, will be treated like other male students while attending school in the district,” the DOJ announcement stated.

The school district settled with the federal government on July 23.

The announcement about the unnamed girl, who is referred to as “he” in the press release, is based on a complaint filed with the agency in October 2011, and the investigation was justified by prohibition of discrimination based on sex as in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Title IV of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“The complaint alleged that the district had prohibited the student from accessing facilities consistent with his male gender identity, including restrooms and locker rooms at school, as well as sex-specific overnight accommodations at a school-sponsored trip, because he is transgender,” the announcement stated.

A July 24 article in the Los Angeles Times said the student “now entering ninth grade, has identified as a boy from a young age.”

“He began the transition to living as a male during fifth grade,” the article stated.

The announcement said “the district will take a number of steps to treat the student like all other male students in the education programs and activities offered by the district.”

Other requirements of the settlement include:

•   Work with a consultant to support and assist the district in creating a safe, nondiscriminatory learning environment for students who are transgender or do not conform to gender stereotypes.

•   Amend its policies and procedures to reflect that gender-based discrimination, including discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, transgender status, and nonconformity with gender stereotypes, is a form of discrimination based on sex.

•   Train administrators and faculty on preventing gender-based discrimination and creating a nondiscriminatory school environment for transgender students. 

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