Virginia school board to pay $1.3 million in transgender student suit

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Virginia school board to pay $1.3 million in transgender student suit

A school board in Virginia has agreed to pay $1.3 million in legal fees to settle a discrimination lawsuit filed by a former student whose attempts to use the boys’ bathrooms have challenged her rights to transgender people. at the center of the national debate.

Gavin Grimm’s fight with the Gloucester County School Board began in 2014, when he was a sophomore and his family informed their school that he was transgender. The administrators were the first assistants. But after some uproar from parents and students, the school board adopted a policy requiring students to use bathrooms and locker rooms for their “concerned biological gender.”

Mr. Grimm sued the school board. The legal battle pushed him into the national spotlight as Republican-controlled state legislatures introduced a wave of “bathroom bills” that require transgender people to use public restrooms in government and school buildings that are on their birth certificates. Listed correspond to gender.

Joshua Block, attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “We are delighted that this lengthy litigation is finally over and Gavin has been fully upheld by the courts, but it took more than six years to reach this point.” Shouldn’t have litigated.” The person representing Mr Grimm said in a statement on Thursday. Mr Block said he hoped the results would “prevent other school boards and lawmakers from using discrimination to gain political points before.”

The Gloucester County Public School superintendent’s office declined to comment, instead saying in a brief statement that the school board had “addressed” Mr Grimm’s request to pay legal fees.

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In his own statement, Mr Grimm said the school board had chosen an “expensive legal battle” to give him access to a safe environment. “I hope this result sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is a costly losing battle,” he said.

The ACLU said the school board’s “disrespectful and stigmatizing policy” ousted Mr Grimm even though he began receiving hormone therapy, which changed his bone and muscle structure, deepening his voice. Diya and grew his facial hair.

The damage continued after Mr Grimm graduated, the group said: the school district refused to provide him with a transcript that matched his gender identity, so he had to provide a transcript to colleges and potential employers who Recognize her as a woman.

In an interview on Monday, Mr Grimm said he was optimistic about the progress that had been made, even as the debate over transgender rights intensified.

“We’re making progress every single day,” he said. “State to state, court to court, right decisions are being taken and equality is being maintained in the courts.”

Mr Grimm said one consequence of the increased visibility of transgender people is that “protesters also gain visibility as they weaponize it in some sort of culture war to mobilize other political issues.”

The settlement was announced two months after the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s ruling in Mr Grimm’s favor. A divided three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled last year that the school board’s policy violated the Constitution and federal law. The Supreme Court did not give any reason for refusing to hear the school board’s appeal of that decision.

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The Supreme Court had agreed to hear an earlier appeal in Mr Grimm’s case, but rejected it in 2017 after the Trump administration changed the federal government’s position on transgender rights. The Biden administration has since adopted policies to protect transgender students.

The central question in this case was whether Title IX, the federal law banning gender discrimination in schools receiving federal funding, also prohibited discrimination based on gender identity.

Some proponents of transgender rights had hoped for a comprehensive Supreme Court ruling that would provide new rights for transgender people. But Mr Grimm welcomed the court’s dismissal of the school board’s appeal as a victory.

At the time, he said, “I am glad that my years of battle for my school to see me who I am is over.” “Forcing me to use a nurse’s room, a private bathroom and a girls’ room was humiliating for me, and going to an outside bathroom seriously hampered my education. Trans youth elected to their own school boards and They deserve to use the bathroom calmly without being humiliated and stigmatized by the authorities.”

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