Skip to main content

Hell to pay

A Virginia school board has agreed to pay more than $1.3 million to Gavin Grimm, a transgender former student who sued the district over its bathroom policy, sending the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Gloucester County School Board said on Thursday that it would pay the entire amount in legal fees that Grimm and his lawyers had petitioned for after a years long battle that brought national attention to the rights of students to use the facility that corresponds with their gender identity.

The former student and his legal team argued in their petition that the case's "arduous journey" involved constant confrontation with the school board, which argued its policy protected students' privacy and wasn't sex-based discrimination because it was applied equally to all students.

But Grimm's case went on to be the first time a federal court held that Title IX protects transgender students' right to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity, an unprecedented decision that affected similar cases nationally.

Thursday's agreement means that no further proceedings remain in the case, concluding over a decade of legal battles between the former student and the school board.

To Grimm, the decision is a signal that discriminatory policies are not only financially costly but also bring undue consequences for vulnerable students.

“Rather than allow a child equal access to a safe school environment, the Gloucester School Board decided to fight this child for five years in a costly legal battle that they lost,” Grimm said in a statement via the ACLU. “I hope that this outcome sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is an expensive losing battle.”

Grimm first sued the school district as a sophomore at Gloucester County High School in June 2015.

When Grimm came out as transgender, the school adopted a policy that prohibited any child "with gender identity issues" from using shared bathrooms with other boys and girls, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represents Grimm. He told a school board meeting that being forced to use bathrooms at school that did not match his gender identity was "alienating" and "humiliating."

Grimm was made to use an "alternative appropriate private facility," an isolating experience that made him feel systemically excluded by his peers even after he commenced hormone therapy, had gender-affirming surgery, and officially obtained a Virginia state identification card, according to the ACLU.

The ensuing legal battle, and millions of dollars now due, could have been avoided if the school board had simply let Grimm use the boys' bathroom, the ACLU of Virginia said Thursday.

Lower courts ruled the school's policy violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and in June, the Supreme Court rejected a petition from the school board to hear the case. That upheld a decision the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit made in August 2020, which affirmed that the school board violated Grimm's constitutional rights.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

One transgender woman's take on AGP

This entry from the transhealth website dates back to 2001 and it offers a very nice dissection of the now mostly debunked but still controversial AGP theory and how this transgender woman could care two cents about it. People who have been trying to marginalize the experience of gynephilic transwomen have pushed for the stigmatizing idea that they are actually perverted men. Well this soul, who couldn't give a hoot either way, isn't buying any of it and her frankness at times had me chuckling to myself as I read her posting. If we ever met I would give her a hug for seeing through the BS but mostly for being herself: "About a year ago I was reading on Dr. Anne Lawrence’s site about a new theory of the origin of trans called “autogynephilia.” This theory asserts that many trans women—and transsexual women in particular—desire reassignment surgery because they are eroticizing the feminization of their bodies. The first thing that struck me about it, of course, was t

my last post

This will be my last blog post. When I wrote recently that this blog had another seven years of life in it I was trying to convince myself that it was true. It was in fact a little bit of self delusion. With almost 3,000 posts to date I have accomplished what I set out to do which was to heal myself and in the process share some of the struggle I had been through with others on the chance they might find some value in my words. After seven years of writing, my life still isn't perfect; no one's is. But I have discovered a path forward completely free of the trappings which society would have had me adopt so I could fit in. Over the last 25 years of my life I have turned over every stone I could find while exploring this topic and in the process realized that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of this deeply complex subject. What I have ultimately learned is that my instincts have more value than what someone who isn't gender dysphoric writes about me. We

Never Say Never....

 I was certain that I would never post here again and yet, here I am. It’s been several years, and life has changed me yet again. I have burrowed further into my psyche to discover more internal truths about myself all in the silence of a life lived with more periods of reflective solitude than ever before. After attempting for many years to be a problem solver for others, I needed to dig deeply to discover who I was, which should be a necessity for all people and an absolute imperative for those of us who dare rub against the grain of conventional society. The most important thing we can do for ourselves is honor the internal voice which has driven us since childhood. That whisper which we were compelled to ignore through our initial indoctrination must be listened to again for guidance. I knew I had spent too long heeding messaging that wasn’t working for me as a trans person, and it was time to stop. For the world gleefully basks in a level ignorance and hypocrisy we are not abl