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US school’s trans bathroom policy investigated in sexual assault case

US school’s trans bathroom policy investigated in sexual assault case

Bathroom sign support

Trump’s Department of Education, led by Betsy DeVos, is looking into an alleged sexual assault at a Georgia school.

A complaint filed in May, with the help of the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), says a 5-year-old student at Oakhurst Elementary School was assaulted by a gender-fluid student. The complaint was filed on behalf of the 5-year-old’s mother, identified as Pascha Thomas.

In September, the Department’s Office of Civil Rights announced it would investigate the complaint.

The school, located in Decatur, allows transgender and gender-fluid students to use the bathroom of their choice.

Now, the Department of Education is looking into whether this policy helped create ‘a hostile environment for the student and other girls’.

Rolling back progress

Education Department spokesman Nate Bailey gave the following statement about the investgation:

‘We do not comment on pending investigations — but to be clear, the investigation focuses on the school’s response to a report of sexual assault and the examination of any and all factors that may have contributed to a hostile environment.’

Since DeVos took office, the Education Department has rolled back several Obama-era policies.

They first revoked guidelines regarding sexual assault on college campuses. Following that decision, they determined not to investigate any claims on behalf of transgender students’ bathroom cases.

Courtney Burnett, a spokeswoman for the school district, also released a statement. In it, she called ADF’s allegations ‘unfounded’.

‘City Schools of Decatur is committed to supporting all students. We are aware of the unfounded allegations made by the Alliance Defending Freedom. We fully disagree with their characterization of the situation and are addressing it with the Office of Civil Rights.

‘As this is a pending legal matter, we have no further comment at this time.’

Many advocacy groups say bathroom restrictions give transgender people further anxiety and difficulty in their everyday lives. It has been an ongoing political debate in the United States for the past several years.

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