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Transgender Student Wins $1.3 Million Lawsuit after School Board Forbade Him from Using the Men's Room

Brittany Chalmers
Sep 03, 2021
02:40 A.M.
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When a transgender student was forced to use an "alternative appropriate private facility" instead of the usual school restroom, he took legal action. The case dragged on for years, and now it has finally been resolved.

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When he was a sophomore in high school, Gavin Grimm revealed that he was a transgender male. He shared the news with his classmates at Gloucester High School in Virginia, but the school board raised some issues.

They insisted that Grimm use other private facility options because they could not allow students "with gender identity issues" to use the same restrooms as girls and boys.

Transgender man explains why he took legal action against his school after they prohibited him from using the male restroom | Photo: Youtube/VICE News

Transgender man explains why he took legal action against his school after they prohibited him from using the male restroom | Photo: Youtube/VICE News

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THE SCHOOL RECORDED HIM AS FEMALE

Grimm was consequently excluded from his school's facilities even though he had undergone hormone therapy. This caused "bone and muscle structure" changes and altered his voice and facial hair as well.

His Virginia state I.D. card and birth certificate were also updated and reflected that he was male. However, the school still would not budge and did not record him as a male on his graduated transcripts.

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LEGAL ACTION

In 2015, Grimm took legal action because he believed the school violated Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause. The lengthy lawsuit made waves in the media, and Grimm gained legal representation from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

In August 2021, the ACLU revealed that the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia had made a decision. They ruled in favor of Grimm, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit confirmed.

A transgender man who was prohibited from using his school's male restroom asks a board to reconsider their decision | Photo: Youtube/VICE News

A transgender man who was prohibited from using his school's male restroom asks a board to reconsider their decision | Photo: Youtube/VICE News

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RULED IN FAVOR OF GRIMM

As a result, Grimm was allotted $1.3 million in the lawsuit. All of the money minus $1 is said to be going toward legal fees that the ACLU covered over the duration of the case.

Grimm was elated by the news that he was victorious. He shared that he thought it was fantastic and said that it was "absolutely vindication."

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TRANSGENDER LEGISLATION

Not only was it a win for Grimm, but it made a statement about transgender legislation in general. Grimm shared that he was glad the court found the school guilty of discrimination.

He added that their actions were not going to go without any consequence. Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project, also shared some thoughts on this.

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ONLINE REACTION

Block expressed: "We hope that the fee award will give other school boards and lawmakers pause before they use discrimination to score political points." Netizens also had a lot to say about the matter.

A user stated: "Congrats, Gavin! I hope you put that money to good use, helping others." Another added that they hoped all of the school's board members would resign after spreading so much hatred.

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