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Judge rules in favor of transgender student in Virginia bathroom case

By
Danielle Haynes
Gavin Grimm said he feels an incredible sense of relief after a federal judge sided with him in his years-long fight with the Gloucester County School Board. File Photo by Bryan R. Smith/UPI
Gavin Grimm said he feels "an incredible sense of relief" after a federal judge sided with him in his years-long fight with the Gloucester County School Board. File Photo by Bryan R. Smith/UPI | License Photo

May 22 (UPI) -- A federal judge ruled in favor of a Virginia transgender teen Tuesday in his years-long fight to use the boys bathroom at his high school.

Gavin Grimm, now 19 and out of high school, sued the Gloucester County School Board in June 2015 after it passed a rule allowing students to only use the bathroom of the gender with which they were born.

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It meant Grimm, then 15, could no longer use the boys bathroom at his school, which his lawyers argued violated his rights under Title IX. The law forbids organizations that receive federal funds from discriminating against people on the basis of sex.

U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen agreed with Grimm and rejected the school board's motion to have the case dismissed. Allen ordered the board to schedule a settlement conference with Grimm within 30 days.

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"I feel an incredible sense of relief," Grimm said of the ruling. "After fighting this policy since I was 15 years old, I finally have a court decision saying that what the Gloucester County School Board did to me was wrong and it was against the law. I was determined not to give up because I didn't want any other student to have to suffer the same experience that I had to go through."

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In March 2017, the case reached the Supreme Court, which declined to hear arguments and sent the case back to a lower court.

The decision came after President Donald Trump's administration withdrew former President Barack Obama's federal guidance allowing transgender students the right to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify.

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In February 2017, the Justice Department and Education Department notified the Supreme Court they instructed U.S. schools to disregard Obama's efforts regarding transgender students.

Following Trump's order, the Supreme Court remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit for "further consideration."

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