GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (BP) — A federal judge on Tuesday (May 22) said a Virginia school board violated the rights of a transgender teen by requiring that all students use the restroom corresponding to their biological gender.
U.S. District Court Judge Arenda Wright Allen declined to hear the Gloucester County School Board’s request to dismiss the case, arguing the board violated former student Gavin Grimm’s rights under the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection clause and the federal Title IX protections against gender-based discrimination.
Allen said the board’s policies “singled out and stigmatized Mr. Grimm,” and ordered lawyers for both sides to schedule a settlement conference in the next 30 days. Grimm, a biological female who identifies as male, first sued the school district in 2015 after the school board passed a policy requiring students use restrooms corresponding to their biological sex, or use single occupancy restrooms.
A federal judge initially sided with the school board, but an appeals court ruled in Grimm’s favor, citing a 2015 directive by the Obama Administration allowing students to choose a restroom based on their gender identity.
The U.S. Supreme Court backed out of hearing the case in 2016 after the Trump administration withdrew the directive, sending the case back to U.S. District Court. Grimm graduated from Gloucester High School in June 2017.