[JURIST] Pursuant an order [order, PDF] issued Thursday by a judge for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia [official website], a Virginia school board must allow a transgender student to use the restroom that corresponds with his gender identity. Gavin Grimm, a high school student at a Gloucester County school who identifies as male, will be allowed to use the boys’ restroom while the court considers the legal issues of the case. This order comes after a decision [official website] by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit [official website] in April, which reversed a lower court decision in holding Grimm’s rights under Title IX [official website], which prohibits discrimination in schools, were violated by the school board refusing his use of the men’s restroom. The Gloucester County School Board has stated its intention to ask the US Supreme Court [official website] to review the Fourth Circuit decision.
Transgender access to public restrooms has been a controversial topic and has created a wave of legislative and judicial actions. Last month the Obama administration issued guidance to schools on ensuring “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment,” prompting a lawsuit [JURIST report] by eleven states. Also last month, the Florida American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against the Marion County school district, challenging their bathroom policy as anti-transgender. The US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in May challenging North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2.