Virginia School Board to pay transgender student $1.3M in discrimination case

The Gloucester County School Board agreed to pay $1.3 million on Wednesday, settling a six-year discrimination case against Gavin Grimm, a transgender student who the school refused to let use the boys’ restroom.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) representing Grimm filed a lawsuit in 2015 after the student, who was a sophomore at the time was refused to use the boys’ restroom and was directed to use “appropriate private facilities.” Despite undergoing hormone therapy and his birth certificate reflecting that he is male, the stance of the school board stood.

Held in the District Court and Court of Appeals, the school board was found to have violated Title IX  of the Education Amendment of 1972, in enacting the school policy prohibiting any child “with gender identity issues” from using shared bathrooms with other boys and girls.

Working up through the lower courts, the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, affirmed lower court decisions in August 2020; that the treatment of the School Board against Grimm was a violation of his constitutional rights. Whilst the Supreme Court chose not to take the case, the school board agreed not to oppose the lower court decision, thus awarding the case the Grimm. The School Board confirmed that the money paid to Grimm will cover attorney fees and any costs associated with the discrimination.

In a press statement, the director of ACLU, Virginia said:

“Discrimination has no place in Virginia schools, and Virginia taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for school boards who act in disregard for the law.”