A Minnesota Carter school is adopting a far-reaching inclusion policy after facing a lawsuit over its treatment of a kindergarten student who identifies as transgender.
In an effort to end a 16-month legal battle, Nova Classical Academy agreed to a settlement with the child's parents.
The school agreed to make minor changes and revisions to its gender inclusion policy, which was implemented in May of 2016.
In a statement to CBN News Nova's Spokesperson clarrified that "parents do maintain the right to review and opt-out of curriculum," despite previous reports that this would not be allowed.
Along with the policy change, the school will pay the child's parents $120,000.
In 2016 David and Hannah Edwards filed a complaint against the school, claiming it "failed to protect their child and other gender non-conforming and transgender students at Nova from persistent gender-based bullying and hostility."
Additionally, they claimed the school "denied their child the ability to undergo a gender transition at Nova in a safe and timely way."
Advocacy group, Gender Justice, represented the family's case--filing a two-count, civil discrimination lawsuit which demanded policy and training changes.
Nova initially denied the allegations, according to The Daily Signal but Gender Justice announced Monday that both parties had reached an agreement through mediation.
"In May, the department found probable cause that the child was discriminated against on the basis of gender identity. While we strongly disagreed with the finding of probable cause, we did enter into confidential mediation with the complainants to resolve the complaint without a costly lawsuit," said a letter sent out by the school to members of its community.
The Daily Signal covered fallout from the case last year, quoting parents who objected to the proposed gender inclusion policies and worried about the issue of gender identity being introduced to their five and six year olds.
"Our daughter—because she is a normal kindergartner who was raised in a family where we had some social norms regarding biological gender and sex—now she's asking questions like, 'How does a boy become a girl when they're born with a penis?' She has two brothers, so she's wondering, how is this possible, as the boy is wearing a jumper and has ribbons and ponytails in his hair," said one mother who wished to remain anonymous.
The child at the center of the debate now goes to a different school.
According to a press release from Gender Justice policy changes at Nova are already underway. For example, "the school uniform policy has been updated to remove gender categorization of the clothing options."
"Nova Classical Academy has never wavered in its commitment to providing a school environment free of discrimination of any kind, where every student feels safe, welcomed, accepted and valued. Nova’s board, administrators, faculty and staff continue to work to deliver on this commitment for our students and all members of the Nova community," the school's letter to its community continues.