Metro Weekly

Gloucester County School Board appeals trans bathroom case to Supreme Court

School board asks Chief Justice John Roberts to stay an order stopping it from enforcing its restroom policy

Gavin Grimm and legal team - Photo: via ACLUVA.org

Gavin Grimm and legal team – Photo: via ACLUVA.org

The Gloucester County School Board finally followed through on its threat, filing an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop transgender student Gavin Grimm from being allowed to use the bathroom that matches his gender identity. As first reported by CBS, the board filed an emergency appeal with Chief Justice John Roberts, alleging that allowing Grimm to use the boys’ restroom will “put parents’ constitutional rights in jeopardy.”

“Depriving parents of any say over whether their children should be exposed to members of the opposite biological sex, possibly in a state of full or complete undress, in intimate settings deprives parents of their right to direct the education and upbringing of their children,” the board’s lawyers wrote in their appeal.

At issue is a preliminary injunction, granted by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Doumar, which, if not placed on hold, would prevent Gloucester County from enforcing its policy on transgender students’ restroom use and allow Grimm to use the boys’ restroom during his senior year at Gloucester High School. The board previously asked Doumar to stay the injunction, adopting many of the same arguments, and when he refused, the board asked the 4th Circuit, which also rejected the request for a stay.

According to CBS, Roberts can either decide to issue the stay himself or ask the full court to take up whether to issue a stay, which would require the support of five of the justices. The board is also planning to appeal a previous ruling by the 4th Circuit finding that Title IX’s prohibitions on sex discrimination apply to transgender students — which essentially paved the way for the granting of the injunction. The board is expected to file a motion in late August asking the Chief Justice to put the underlying lawsuit by Grimm challenging the restroom policy on hold while the Supreme Court decides whether to review the 4th Circuit’s decision.

“It is sad that the school board members and their lawyers have so little regard for the impact their misguided actions are having on a real teenager’s life,” said Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, the executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, which is representing Grimm. “We will continue to stand with Gavin and other young people suffering such cruelties and indignities.”

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

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