GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Lawyers for a transgender teen who filed a federal lawsuit over the right to use the boys’ bathroom at his high school filed an amended complaint Friday.
Gavin Grimm, who was born a female and identifies as male, has been fighting for the right to use the boys’ restroom at Gloucester High School. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the case on behalf of Grimm against the Gloucester County School Board.
Grimm graduated from high school in June. The ACLU said Friday in a statement that rather than waiting for a ruling in the case — which was filed in 2015 — an amended claim has been filed, which will move forward to pursue damages and to revise the bathroom policy permanently.
The school board first granted Grimm permission to use the boy’s restroom in 2014, but then in December of that year, reversed its decision, stating Grimm must use a communal bathroom that corresponds with the sex he was born with, or he can use one of three single-stall unisex restrooms.
In April 2016, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Gloucester School Board policy violates Title IX, a federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools. This allowed Grimm to use the boys’ restroom. About five months later, in August 2016, the Supreme Court blocked the appellate court’s ruling while it decided whether or not to take up the case. During that time, Grimm was not allowed to use the boys’ restroom.
The high court eventually decided to hear the case. However, after President Donald Trump’s administration withdrew a directive issued during Barack Obama’s presidency that said which bathroom to use should be based on students’ gender identity, the Supreme Court sent the case back to the 4th Circuit.
The ACLU says the fight is not over.
“We remain confident in the strength of Gavin’s case,” the civil rights group said in its statement. “The withdrawal of the guidance does not change the fact that Gavin and other transgender students are protected under Title IX, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools, and that the school board’s bathroom policy violates that law.”