Trans student wins latest round in US bathroom case

A 19-year-old American student who was born female but identifies as a male has won a court ruling following lengthy legal action to use the bathroom of her choice.

‘Gavin’ Grimm sued Gloucester County school board in 2015. Grimm had started using boys’ toilets but, after parents raised concerns, the school decided to stop access and instead created unisex bathrooms.

An earlier court ruling said the school was not at fault for its decision, but a new verdict has now gone in Grimm’s favour.

‘Sex stereotyping’

In 2016, the US Supreme Court voted 5-3 to put the lower court decision on hold, before declining to hear the case.

However, a federal judge in Virginia handed down her judgment yesterday, denying a motion by the Gloucester County school board to dismiss Grimm’s lawsuit.

Judge Arenda Wright Allen wrote that Grimm’s status as a transsexual constituted a claim of sex discrimination under federal law.

The judge added that the school’s action had subjected Grimm “to sex stereotyping” violations of the law.

Settlement conference

Both parties have been told to arrange a settlement conference within 30 days.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Grimm, celebrated the ruling.

Gloucester County school board has not yet announced whether or not it will appeal the decision.

Trans guidance

Last year, the United States Government rescinded Obama-era guidance, which forced federally-funded schools to endorse transsexualism.

The Obama administration had dispatched a letter to all Government-funded schools, ordering them to allow transsexual pupils to share showers, toilets and accommodation with pupils of the opposite sex.

But in February 2017, the Justice and Education departments sent new guidance to schools stating that the previous guidelines did not “undergo any formal public process”.

Related Resources