Fourth Circuit Ruled Schools Can’t Bar Transgender Students from Using Restrooms Consistent with Their Gender IdentityWASHINGTON, D.C. — The Supreme Court today announced it will review a decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that found that federal anti-discrimination law protects the right of teenage boy who is transgender, to use the men’s restrooms at his Virginia high school.
The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Virginia brought the case on behalf of Gavin Grimm challenging the Gloucester County School Board’s decision to force him to use separate, single-stall restrooms that no other student is required to use. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Grimm and the ACLU, and the school board appealed.
“I never thought that my restroom use would ever turn into any kind of national debate. The only thing I ever asked for was the right to be treated like everyone else,” said Grimm, who is a 17-year-old senior at Gloucester High School. “While I’m disappointed that I will have to spend my final school year being singled out and treated differently from every other guy, I will do everything I can to make sure that other transgender students don’t have to go through the same experience.”
“Gavin has demonstrated exceptional courage, leadership and strength of conviction throughout this ordeal,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia. “We are proud to continue to stand for what is right not only for him but for the broader trans community.”
The ACLU argued that the school board’s policy is a clear violation of Title IX, a federal law barring sex discrimination by schools receiving federal funding.
“It is disappointing that Gavin will probably have to finish out his high school career under this harmful, humiliating policy,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s LGBT project. “These sorts of discriminatory policies stigmatize and isolate transgender students like Gavin just because of who they are. We look forward to presenting Gavin’s case to the Supreme Court as the next step in the fight to ensure fairness and equality for trans people across the country.”
After a ruling by the appeals court, the district court issued a preliminary injunction requiring that Grimm be permitted to use the men’s restroom during his senior year of high school, which began in early September. On August 3, the Supreme Court issued a stay halting that order until it decided whether to review the case. The stay will now continue in effect until the court hears the case and issues a decision.
For more information about this case, visit: https://www.aclu.org/cases/gg-v-gloucester-county-school-board.