(PM) — A federal judge in Virginia ruled in support of a transgender former student, determining a county school board must recognize him as male, in a win for transgender student rights.
The judge ordered Friday that the board had infringed the constitutional rights of former Gloucester High School student Gavin Grimm, who is now 20 and a graduate of the high school.
Grimm transitioned about four years ago, and throughout his sophomore year, he was dressing as male and using boys’ restrooms at school.
He claimed the county school board put in place a policy that forbade him from using either girls’ or boys’ restrooms after it received alleged complaints from others in the community. The school assembled single-stall, unisex restrooms that he could utilize, but they weren’t readily accessible in all parts of the school grounds, according to court filings.
The judge, Arenda Wright Allen, bestowed him one dollar in damages and ordered the school district to pay his court fees. The district also must update his records to indicate he is male.
“However well-intentioned some external challenges may have been and however sincere worries were about possible unknown consequences arising from a new school restroom protocol, the perpetuation of harm to a child stemming from unconstitutional conduct cannot be allowed to stand,” the judge decreed on Friday.
Allen stated, “These acknowledgments are made in the hopes of making a positive difference to Mr. Grimm and to the everyday lives of our children who rely upon us to protect them compassionately and in ways that more perfectly respect the dignity of every person.”
“It is such a relief to achieve this closure and vindication from the court after four years of fighting not just for myself, but for trans youth across America,” Gavin said. “I promise to continue to advocate for as long as it takes for everyone to be able to live their authentic lives freely, in public, and without harassment and discrimination.”