A Message to Families Regarding Title IX

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The following message was shared with CCPS staff and families via email on Friday, November 5, 2021. Since that time, the document Transgender Students: Guidelines for Support has been posted on the CCPS website under Student Services.

Dear CCPS Staff and Families,

The purpose of this email is to address increasing attention surrounding practical considerations of transgender students in school.

All public schools are required to follow Title IX, the Federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education, which includes gender identity. Under Title IX, schools are required to treat transgender students according to their gender identity, including making sure that transgender students have access to restrooms that match their gender identity, using the right names and pronouns for transgender students, and letting them dress in accordance with their gender. Transgendered students became a protected group under Title IX in 2015, and that decision has been upheld through multiple court rulings, most recently in August 2020 through a ruling in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit involving a Virginia school system and a transgender student’s access to restrooms. Since the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit is the federal appellate court for Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, the Court’s ruling is binding for all school systems in Maryland, even though we were not parties to the litigation.

In addition to following the law and court ruling, CCPS stands by our non-discrimination policy, I.12.90, which states, “The Caroline County Board of Education will not tolerate or condone any acts of bias or discrimination of any kind toward any person on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religion, socio-economic status, or disabling condition. The Board does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its education programs and activities, and it is required to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its related regulations.”

We expect that any individual using a restroom will respect the privacy of everyone else using that restroom and will conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. If not, they will be held accountable according to the CCPS discipline policy.

We have been working with the Maryland State Department of Education and our attorney to provide any additional guidance as it relates to Title IX and nondiscrimination. We respect the rights of every student in our district and will continue to work hard to ensure that the safety and individual needs of our students are met every day.

Respectfully,

Derek Simmons, Ed.D.

Interim Superintendent of Schools