A Virginia school board will be allowed to block a transgender male from using the boys restroom when school starts next month, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.
The Associated Press reports that the high court has put on hold a lower court ruling that ordered the Gloucester County School Board to let Gavin Grimm use the bathroom that matches his gender identity.
The decision means Grimm will be barred from using the boys bathroom for at least the first half of his senior year, says Josh Block, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.
Block says he's disappointed the teen will have to begin another school year being "stigmatized and isolated from the rest of his peers just because he is transgender." But he said he remains hopeful that Grimm will ultimately prevail in the case.
The school board welcomed the court ruling.
"The Board continues to believe that its resolution of this complex matter fully considered the
interests of all students and parents in the Gloucester County school system," the board said in a prepared statement.
Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male, was allowed to use the boys restroom at his high school for several weeks in 2014. But after some parents complained, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use either the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender or a private, single-stall restroom. Grimm argues the policy violates Title IX, a federal law that bars sex discrimination in schools.
The U.S. Court of Appeals sided with Grimm in April. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the merits of the Gloucester County case, the order will remain on hold until a final ruling is made. If justices deny the school board's petition for review, the order requiring the board to let Grimm use the boys bathroom will be reinstated.