Trans student Gavin Grimm wins over $1.3 million from school district over discriminatory bathroom policy

27 August 2021, 15:28

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

Gavin Grimm's historic case ended up in Supreme Court.

A Virginia school board has agreed to pay over $1.3 million to a transgender former student who sued the school over its bathroom policy.

In June 2015, Gavin Grimm sued his school district for violation of the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972 after he was banned from using the boys bathroom at Gloucester County High School. The school's policy prohibited any child with "gender identity issues" from using shared bathrooms with other boys and girls.

Gavin was forced to use an "alternative appropriate private facility" even after he started hormone therapy, had gender-affirming surgery and obtained a Virginia state ID card which listed his sex as male, ACLU reports. This left him feeling humiliated and alienated from his classmates.

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Virginia school board must pay over $1.3 million to trans former student who sued over its bathroom policy
Virginia school board must pay over $1.3 million to trans former student who sued over its bathroom policy. Picture: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Out

On Thursday (Aug 26), Gloucester County School Board were ordered to pay over $1.3 million in legal fees and costs that Gavin had petitioned for after a six-year legal battle.

In June, the Supreme Court decided not to review the ruling that the school board's discriminatory restroom policy for transgender students violated Title IX and the Constitution. The case is the first time a federal court has decided that Title IX protects transgender students' right to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identity.

Gender Neutral Toilet
Gender Neutral Toilet. Picture: Alamy

The costly legal battle could have easily been avoided if the school board had just let Gavin use the boys' bathroom. In a statement via the ACLU, Gavin said: "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.

"I hope that this outcome sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is an expensive losing battle."