Metro Weekly

Trans student Gavin Grimm wins injunction, school must let him use boys’ restroom

Gavin Grimm and his lawyers get the injunction they've been seeking for more than a year

Gavin Grimm - Photo: Todd Franson

Gavin Grimm – Photo: Todd Franson

A federal court has ordered Virginia’s Gloucester County School Board to allow a transgender student to access the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity. Gavin Grimm will now be allowed to use the boys’ restroom again — something he had previously done after informing school officials of his transition, before a complaint was filed and he was barred from doing so.

U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar of the Eastern District of Virginia issued the order, aligning with an April decision from the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that approved Grimm’s right to seek an injunction, while also restoring part of Grimm’s lawsuit claiming discrimination under Title IX, which Doumar had previously thrown out.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia, which sued the Gloucester County School Board on Grimm’s behalf, expressed elation over Doumar’s latest ruling, which represents a victory for transgender students.

“Under the Fourth Circuit’s decision, it was already clear that Gavin would ultimately prevail in court,” Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU, said in a statement. “This preliminary injunction makes sure that Gavin’s legal victory has a real impact on his life while he is still at school.”

“We are thrilled that Gavin finally has equal access to his school restrooms and will no longer experience the stigmatizing and unfair treatment imposed on him by the Gloucester School Board’s discriminatory restroom policy,” Gail Deady, The Secular Society women’s rights legal fellow at the ACLU of Virginia, added.

Doumar has yet to rule on the merits of Grimm’s challenge to the school board’s policy, which is ongoing. In the meantime, the Gloucester County School Board has decided to appeal the Fourth Circuit’s April ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court in hopes that it will intervene to stop Grimm from using the boys’ restroom and get his lawsuit  permanently thrown out.

Grimm, who is set to graduate from high school next spring, was overjoyed at Thursday’s ruling.

“I am elated to hear that I’ll be able to attend my senior year of high school with my full rights restored,” Grimm said in a statement. “After nearly two years of humiliation and intense struggle, equality has finally prevailed. Now hopefully other transgender people will not have to face this type of discrimination.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com

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