Court papers have been filed in the ACLU lawsuit against the Gloucester County School Board over their policy which advocates say discriminates against transgender students.
16-year-old Gavin Grim, a trans-man, filed the suit with the help of the VA ACLU after his local school board passed a policy requiring students to use bathrooms associated with their birth gender.
Back in November of 2014, Grimm spoke before his local school board meeting to fight the policy which would force him to use a restroom aligning with his birth gender, not as the gender he currently identifies.
“I’m fighting for my right to use the correct restroom … the men’s restroom,” he told VA Beach’s WAVY at the time. “There have been some parents in the community, or rather adults, that have had a problem with this.”
“The School Board has a responsibility to its students to ensure their privacy while engaging in personal bathroom functions,” the board’s attorney wrote in court papers asking for Grim’s case to be dismissed. “This is particularly true in an environment where children are still developing, both emotionally and physically.”
Grimm had been using the male restroom without incident until the school board got involved. They said they have since created a gender-neutral restroom for him to use.
“Under this policy, Plaintiff is treated the same as his fellow students,” the brief says.
The ACLU said in its filings that Grimm has since chosen not to use the bathroom in school to avoid being singled out by his peers.
But the Department of Justice has stress trans-students have the right to use restrooms aligned with their gender identity.
“Under Title IX, discrimination based on a person’s gender identity, a person’s transgender status, or a person’s nonconformity to sex stereotypes constitutes discrimination based on sex,” reads the statement, which goes on to say the rural Virginia County’s new bathroom policy specifically violates this condition.
“There is a public interest in ensuring that all students, including transgender students, have the opportunity to learn in an environment free of sex discrimination.”