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Virginia federal judge rules in favor of transgender teen in school board dispute

[JURIST] Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled [order, PDF] in favor of transgender teen Gavin Grimm Monday, denying the Gloucester County School Board's motion to dismiss a challenge to the school board's bathroom policy.

The school board had prohibited Grimm from using the boys' restrooms on the justification that his biological gender was female. Grimm brought a Title IX [text] claim, and the school board argued Title IX applied only to claims on the basis of sex and not gender identity.

The court reasoned that since gender stereotyping could be claimed under Title VII [text] discrimination and therefore Title IX, "Grimm ha[d] properly brought a Title IX claim of discrimination "on the basis of sex"—that is, based on his transgender status." The Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union commented [press release] that the victory confirms that trans students have the same protections under Title IX as other students and "can't be stigmatized and ostracized just because of who they are."

Grimm's case had previously gone before the Supreme Court, which had sent the case back to the lower court to reconsider its ruling given the Trump administration's revocation of guidelines [JURIST reports] from the US Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Education (DOE) [official websites] that required federally funded schools to treat gender identity as a student's sex for purposes of Title IX.

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