GLOUCESTER Co., Va. – The Eastern District of Virginia ruled Friday that a transgender man was discriminated against while a student at Gloucester High School.
Gavin Grimm, who is now 20 years old, sued the Gloucester County School Board for violating his rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
Grimm transitioned while attending the school, and was initially allowed to use the boys’ bathroom. Following complaints from some parents and students, he was told he was not allowed to use the boys’ room but could use a private bathroom.
Court documents also say the Board refused to update Grimm’s official school transcript to match the male designation on his birth certificate.
An attorney from the ACLU, arguing on Grimm’s behalf, argued that segregated him, humiliated him and violated his rights under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause. Title IX says people cannot be discriminated against on the basis of sex in education programs receiving federal money, and Grimm’s attorneys argue the Board treated him differently than other students in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
The judge awarded Grimm nominal damages, and ruled that the Board would both update Grimm’s official school records to match his updated birth certificate and provide Grimm copies of the records.
“It is such a relief to achieve this closure and vindication from the court after four years of fighting not just for myself but for trans youth across America,” Grimm said after Friday’s ruling. “I promise to continue to advocate for as long as it takes for everyone to be able to live their authentic lives freely, in public, and without harassment and discrimination.”
The ruling only applies to Grimm, not all transgender students.