Puerto Rico's education secretary says public school students can for the first time choose to wear pants or skirts as part of their uniform regardless of their gender without being punished.

Rafael Roman said Monday that the new regulation is meant to be inclusive of gay, lesbian and transgender students. He said teachers will no longer be allowed to discipline students who prefer to wear pants instead of skirts or vice versa.

Girls in public schools across the U.S. territory traditionally wear skirts as part of their uniforms and the boys wear pants.