The American Civil Liberties Union and its Virginia affiliate have sued a school board for denying transgender students access to the restroom of their choice and instead requiring them to use single-stall facilities.
The ACLU filed the suit today in federal court in Virginia, alleging that the Gloucester County School Board had violated the civil rights of transgender student Gavin Grimm by enacting the restroom policy last December. The organization argues that the policy violates the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972, a federal law prohibiting sex discrimination by schools.
“The school board’s policy is deeply stigmatizing and needlessly cruel,” said Joshua Block, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and HIV Project, in a press release. “Any student — transgender or not — should be free to use single-stall restrooms if they want extra privacy. Instead of protecting the privacy of all students, the school board has chosen to single out transgender students as unfit to use the same restrooms as everyone else.”
“I just want to use the restroom in peace,” Grimm said in the same press release. “Since the school board passed this policy I feel singled out and humiliated every time I need to use the restroom.”
Grimm, who will begin his junior year at Gloucester High School this fall, used the boys’ restroom for almost two months last year without incident, but some parents and other residents of Gloucester County complained, resulting in the adoption of the policy requiring transgender studies to use single-stall restrooms. He is currently the only student in the school affected by the policy, which isolates him and subjects him to stigma, the suit argues. The ACLU asks that the policy be changed and that the school district pay damages to Grimm and his mother in an amount determined by the court.