BCSD leaders delay taking stance on transgender students rights

VIDEO: BCSD leaders delay taking stance on transgender students rights

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Berkeley County school leaders met privately with a lawyer Tuesday evening to address legal concerns surrounding  transgender students' rights.

After the closed-door meeting, the board announced it wait to take a stance on the controversial topic, until there's some clarity on the fourth circuit ruling.

That ruling allows students to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify, defending Title IX.

The board said, based on advice from their attorney, that ruling could be overturned.

So they're not going to support either side of the issue, yet.

People with varying opinions filled the board meeting.

More than 30 people signed up to speak to board members about their concerns.

"I am the president of the sophomore class at Berkeley High School," Sera Guerry said. "I'm a member of leadership and number 86 in my class… And, I am transgender."

16-year-old Sera Guerry was born a male named Seth.

Guerry now identifies as a female, a transition that hasn't been easy.

"In 6th grade was really when we had the first argument, or 5th grade really, because they wouldn't let me participate with the girls in sex ed," Guerry said.

Sera became emotional speaking to board members, thanking those who helped her come out.

"This means the world to me, thank you," Guerry said.

Her message echoed by other transgender students, like Cole Dowd who was born a female named Brianna.

"Growing up was very confusing," Dowd said.

There was a loud support from the crowd as Dowd spoke about his desire to use mens' restrooms.

But, behind the signs and cheers, we're just as passionate voices with another view.

"As a personal victim of rape in high school, I cannot imagine being forced to go to school and change in a locker room with anyone who has the private parts of the opposite sex," one woman addressed the board.

Sophie Sorenson, a Berkeley County mother, came the meeting because she's worried about the safety of her third grade daughter.

"She could be sharing bathrooms and eventually locker rooms with much older boys who identify as girls and I'm not okay with that," Sorenson said.

Some felt having an open mind about restrooms jeopardizes safety. Others said  it's not about safety, it's about acceptance.

As the conversation continues, people on both sides say they're not backing down.

"I feel that our rights the vast majority children's and families rights are not being heard and are not being protected," Sorenson said.

"All we want to do is get our business done and just be accepted completely," Guerry said.

Both Cane Bay High School and Berkeley High School have released statements saying they will allow students to use the bathroom with which they identify.

So, according to the district, that will continue until the fourth circuit ruling becomes more clear.

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