transgender logo

Appeals court rules against Virginia district in transgender student's bathroom case

Aug. 26, 2020
The judges found that the Gloucester County school board's refusal to let Gavin Grimm use the boy's bathroom at Gloucester County High School was unconstitutional.

A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., has ruled in favor of transgender students' right to use the high school bathroom of the gender with which they identify.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Gavin Grimm has fought for five years against the Gloucester County School Board's refusal to allow him to use the boys restroom at Gloucester County High School in Gloucester, Va.

“All transgender students should have what I was denied: the opportunity to be seen for who we are by our schools and our government," Grimm said following the ruled. "Today’s decision is an incredible affirmation for not just me, but for trans youth around the country.”

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals rule that policies segregating transgender students from their peers are unconstitutional and violate federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education.

The appeals court decision is based in part on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that discrimination against people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In 2015, the Gloucester County school board adopted a policy in which students could use only bathrooms that matched their "biological gender" and built single-stall bathrooms as an "alternative" for individuals with "gender identity issues."

Grimm was a sophomore in high school at the time.

Grimm's parents spoke out against the policy. They called the requirement to use the bathroom in the nurse's office  "humiliating" and took away from their son's education.

Grimm said that no one had ever questioned his use of the men's bathroom prior to the school board's ruling.

The American Civil Liberties Union, sued the district on Grimm's behalf. The case reached the Supreme Court in 2017 but was sent back to the appeals court after the Trump administration rescinded Department of Education protections for transgender students.

Sponsored Recommendations

Schedule an AIA Course Presentation

Get closer to completing your annual AIA Continuing Education requirement.. Our continuing education courses will get you that much closer to completi…