Court orders school board to let transgender student use boys bathroom

aclu virginiaA federal district court in Virginia today ordered the Gloucester County School Board to let Gavin Grimm use the same restrooms as other boys at his school.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia brought the lawsuit on behalf of Grimm, arguing that the school board’s policy, which segregates transgender students from their peers by requiring them to use “alternative, private” restroom facilities, violates the U.S. Constitution and Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools.

“I am elated to hear that I’ll be able to attend my senior year of high school with my full rights restored,” said Grimm. “After nearly two years of humiliation and intense struggle, equality has finally prevailed. Now hopefully other transgender people will not have to face this type of discrimination.”

The US. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had initially denied Gavin’s request for a preliminary injunction and dismissed his Title IX claim. But on April 19, the U.S. Court Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated Grimm’s Title IX claim, holding that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.

“We are thrilled that Gavin finally has equal access to his school restrooms and will no longer experience the stigmatizing and unfair treatment imposed on him by the Gloucester School Board’s discriminatory restroom policy,” said Gail Deady, The Secular Society women’s rights legal fellow at the ACLU of Virginia.

“Under the Fourth Circuit’s decision, it was already clear that Gavin would ultimately prevail in court,” said ACLU Senior Staff Attorney Josh Block. “This preliminary injunction makes sure that Gavin’s legal victory has a real impact on his life while he is still at school.”

More on the case can be found at: www.aclu.org/cases/gg-v-gloucester-county-school-board.

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