Virginia school board agrees to $1.3M settlement over transgender bathroom policy

A Virginia college board agreed to spend $1.3 million in settling a federal discrimination lawsuit brought by a transgender former scholar barred from utilizing the boys’ restroom in high college nearly seven years ago. 

The American Civil Liberties Union announced Thursday that the Gloucester County Faculty Board agreed to pay out $1.3 million in legal professional costs and fees similar to the filed on behalf by Gavin Grimm. 

“We gained,” Grimm, now 22, tweeted. “Honored to have been section of this victory.”

Grimm advised Insider he will not individually get any resources from the payout. He formerly declared in January 2020 that he was elected to the ACLU Board of Directors for a a single-12 months term. 


“The insurance policies service provider for the Gloucester County School Board has tackled the Plaintiff’s request for legal professional costs and fees ensuing from the Grimm v. Gloucester County Faculty Board litigation,” the university board reported in a assertion Thursday. “The College Board has no even more remark on this make a difference.” 

As a 15-yr-previous pupil at Gloucester Significant School, Grimm was banned from utilizing the boys’ lavatory. A school board policy necessary Grimm to use restrooms that corresponded with his organic intercourse — woman — or personal loos. He submitted a federal lawsuit that wound its way via the courts for 6 a long time. 

“This is the 3rd time in modern yrs that the Supreme Courtroom has allowed appeals of court conclusions in aid of transgender college students to stand,” Josh Block, senior workers attorney with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Job, stated in a assertion Thursday. “Our perform is not nonetheless finished, and the ACLU is continuing to struggle in opposition to anti-trans regulations focusing on trans youth in states all-around the state.”

Grimm submitted his lawsuit in 2015 and argued that he suffered from urinary tract infections from keeping away from faculty bathrooms as nicely as suicidal views that led to hospitalization. 

In this March 6, 2017, file photo, Gloucester County High School senior Gavin Grimm, a transgender student, speaks during a news conference in Richmond, Virginia. The Gloucester County School Board has agreed to pay $1.3 million in legal costs to the American Civil Liberties Union after the nonprofit spent six years representing a student who sued over the board's transgender bathroom ban. 

In this March 6, 2017, file photo, Gloucester County Higher School senior Gavin Grimm, a transgender scholar, speaks throughout a information convention in Richmond, Virginia. The Gloucester County Faculty Board has agreed to pay $1.3 million in legal expenditures to the American Civil Liberties Union after the nonprofit spent 6 several years symbolizing a student who sued in excess of the board’s transgender lavatory ban. 
(AP Image/Steve Helber)

The Supreme Court docket was scheduled to hear Grimm’s situation in 2017, but it was despatched back to the reduced courts soon after the Trump administration rescinded an Obama-period directive that learners can select bogs corresponding with their gender identity. 

Grimm’s case was listened to all over again in U.S. District Courtroom in Norfolk in 2019 and by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2020. The two dominated that the board’s plan violated Title IX, a federal civil rights regulation barring sexual intercourse-dependent discrimination in any university that receives federal cash. 

They also observed it violated the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause by prohibiting Grimm from employing the exact restrooms as other boys and forcing him to use different restrooms. The Supreme Courtroom in June refused to hear the scenario, relying instead on the lessen courts’ rulings that sided with Grimm. Bust conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito explained they would have listened to the situation. 

In its petition inquiring the Supreme Courtroom to listen to the scenario, the faculty board argued that its bathroom plan poses a “pressing federal concern of countrywide importance.” The board argued previously that federal rules protect towards discrimination based on intercourse, not gender identity. Mainly because Grimm experienced not been through sexual intercourse-reassignment operation and still experienced feminine genitalia, the board’s placement has been that he remained anatomically a woman.

The ACLU, which represented Grimm in the lawsuit, argued that federal legislation helps make it distinct transgender pupils are shielded from discrimination. 

Separately final 7 days, Grimm spoke at a distinct Virginia college board conference. 

He resolved the Newport Information College Board, which held an emergency assembly to reconsider adopting advice from the Virginia Section of Schooling to allow for nonbinary and transgender college students to use loos and play on sporting activities groups that correspond with their decided on id, not beginning gender. The board narrowly voted Thursday to undertake the guidance, reversing an earlier selection to reject it, WAVY documented. 

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In the meantime, the Chesapeake College Board, also in Virginia, very last week turned down applying people condition insurance policies that address the procedure of transgender and nonbinary pupils.

Fox News’ Emma Colton and The Linked Press contributed to this report. 

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