Breaking: U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review in Case of Transgender StudentBy Adam Polaski • October 28, 2016 • 3:34 pm
The United States Supreme Court today announced it would hear arguments in the case of a Virginia transgender teenager, Gavin Grimm, who is challenging a policy in his local school district that singles out transgender students for discrimination. The Gloucester County, Virginia, School District is seeking to force Gavin – a transgender male – to use female restrooms while on school property. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Gavin earlier this year, but the Supreme Court later granted an emergency appeal from the school district that allowed them to continue banning Gavin from the boys’ room. The case was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said today:
“The Fourth Circuit’s original ruling was based in both growing legal precedent and, frankly, common sense. Gavin is a boy and should be allowed to use the boys’ restroom. The Gloucester Country School Board’s refusal to treat transgender youth with the same dignity and respect as all other students is beyond troubling. We hope that the Supreme Court recognizes that much is at stake here. This is not just a legal matter – whatever comes out of the Supreme Court ultimately will have a profound impact on transgender youth all across the country.”
The Fourth Circuit’s ruling in April noted that forcing Gavin to use the wrong restroom was “tantamount to humiliation and a continuing mark of difference among his fellow students.” The ruling cited Title IX protections for gender identity – a move affirmed a month later, when the Departments of Justice and Education issued non-binding guidance reminding public schools and universities that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 extends nondiscrimination protections to transgender students. Since the guidance was issued, officials in a number of states have launched a coordinated legal attack aimed at rolling back protections for transgender Americans.
“All students should feel safe, respected and nurtured by school administrators and elected officials. It’s unfortunate that officials in so many states are sending a demoralizing message to transgender youth right now. Gavin’s day in court will be a powerful opportunity to remind the nation that anti-LGBT rhetoric, the likes of which we’re seeing from officials in Gloucester County and many other places, directly affects so many young people.”
Read more about the case via the American Civil Liberties Union.