U.S. District Court Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Friday ruled that Grimm’s former school district in Virginia, the Gloucester County School Board, had discriminated against him when officials refused to allow him to use the bathroom of his choice.
“The Board’s policy violated Mr. Grimm’s rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, on the day the policy was first issued and throughout the remainder of his time as a student at Gloucester High School,” Allen wrote.
Grimm, who is represented by the ACLU, filed his lawsuit in 2015 when he was a 15 year-old sophomore at Gloucester High School.
“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,” Grimm said in a statement released by the ACLU. “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.”
In March 2017, the Supreme Court, which was scheduled to hear Grimm’s case, announced it would not consider the case and sent it back to a lower court. Grimm’s case rested heavily on guidance issued by the Department of Education in 2016, which stated that transgender students were protected under Title IX. The Trump administration revoked the Obama-era guidance, saying that the issue was better left up to the states. The reversal prompted the high court to act.
Allen awarded Grimm attorney’s fees, court expenses, and $1 in damages. She also ordered the school board to update Grimm’s official school records to reflect his gender as male.
Reporting by the Richmond Times-Dispatch indicates that the school board is likely to appeal Allen’s ruling.