Court: This School Policy Violated the Constitution

Judges rule in favor of transgender rights advocates and Gavin Grimm
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2020 4:27 PM CDT
School Trans Policy Is Not Constitutional: Appeals Court
In this July 23, 2019, file photo, Gavin Grimm, who has become a national face for transgender students, speaks during a news conference held by the ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia at Slover Library in Norfolk, Va.   (Kristen Zeis/The Daily Press via AP, File)

A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a Virginia school board's transgender bathroom ban is unconstitutional and discriminated against a transgender male student who was barred from using the boys bathrooms in his high school, the AP reports. The ruling is a victory for transgender rights advocates and Gavin Grimm, a former student at Gloucester High School who was required to use restrooms that corresponded with his biological sex—female—or private bathrooms. A three-judge panel of the Richmond-based 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Gloucester County School Board violated Grimm's constitutional rights when it banned him from using the boys' bathrooms.

The appeals court wrote that the school board sent Grimm "to special bathrooms that might as well have said 'Gavin' on the sign." The ruling stated that "Grimm was treated worse than students with whom he was similarly situated because he alone could not use the restroom corresponding with his gender. Unlike the other boys, he had to use either the girls' restroom or a single-stall option." An attorney for the Gloucester County school board said the board is reviewing the court's decision. Grimm, who was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, released a statement through the organization that said the court's decision "is an incredible affirmation for not just me, but for trans youth around the country."

(Read more transgender stories.)

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