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Mississippi School District Bans Boys From Wearing Skirts, Says Students Must Wear Clothing 'Consistent With Their Biological Sex'

The student handbook states that “boys must wear shorts or pants” and “girls must wear dresses or skirts or shorts or pants.”

A Mississippi school district has changed its dress code policy to require students to dress “consistent with their biological sex.”

The district where the changes were made, Harrison County School District, recently made headlines for not allowing a biological male student who identifies as transgender to wear a dress to graduation.

The 2023/2024 edition of the student handbook states that “boys must wear shorts or pants” and “girls must wear dresses or skirts or shorts or pants.”

“Boys and girls must follow the dress attire consistent with their biological sex that is stated in the student’s cumulative folder and permanent record the School District prepared under the guidelines of the Mississippi Department of Education Manual of Directions,” the updated student handbook says, according to a report from Newsweek.

Students’ permanent records contain their birth certificates, so school officials can verify the sex of any students seeking to break the rule.

Rob Hill, Human Rights Campaign Mississippi state director, blasted the new policy in a statement to Mississippi Today.

“Every kid should feel safe and welcome at school,” Hill said. “Transgender kids deserve the opportunity to grow up knowing that they are valued and respected for who they are. This harmful policy will only further alienate and endanger kids across Harrison County who are already struggling with so many challenges today. The school district should reconsider its decision and repeal this damaging and discriminatory approach.”

The Harrison County School District made waves earlier this year when they required a then-17-year-old biological male student, who identifies as transgender, to wear pants to graduation.

Per the school’s graduation dress code, the male-to-female transgender student, identified in court documents only as “L.B.” was required to wear a white button-down shirt, black dress pants, black dress shoes, and a tie or bowtie to the ceremony.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represented the student in a lawsuit in which they argued that the school district discriminated against him by refusing to allow him to wear a dress.

Lawyers for the school district argued that a graduation ceremony is voluntary and not a constitutionally protected right.

“Defendants have offered no rationale that could justify the severe and ongoing deprivation of Plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights to be free from gender discrimination,” the complaint alleged, arging that L.B. had worn skirts and dresses all throughout highschool.

U.S. District Judge Taylor McNeel sided with the school district, and the student did not attend the graduation ceremony.

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