ACLU seeks permanent halt to Va. school’s transgender bathroom policy

WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union filed paperwork in court to move forward with a lawsuit on behalf of a Virginia transgender student that would permanently halt a policy that prevented him from using the boy’s bathroom.

The ACLU has been representing Gavin Grimm for the past three years in his fight to use the boy’s bathroom at his Gloucester County high school.

The paperwork filed on Friday ends a request for an immediate injunction that would halt the policy — clearing the way for the ACLU to continue fighting for a permanent halt to the school board’s policy.

“We believe that today’s filing represents the most efficient path forward in ensuring that justice is served for Gavin,” said Josh Block, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project. “Gavin graduated from high school before his simple request to his school board to treat him like every other boy could be validated, but this case is far from over.”

A court had previous ruled in Grimm’s favor and the case was scheduled to appear before the Supreme Court earlier this year, but the Supreme Court sent the case back to a lower court for reconsideration in the wake of the Trump administration’s withdrawal of Title IX guidance clarifying protections for transgender students.

The case was set to begin before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in September.

However, since Grimm graduated high school, the Fourth Circuit canceled those arguments and asked the trial court to hold additional hearings to find out if the immediate injunction was still needed. The ACLU then withdrew their request for the immediate injunction.

“Our fight to have our rights and dignity respected as trans people didn’t end just because I graduated from high school,” Grimm said in a statement. “I am in this for the long haul, and I remain hopeful that my case will help make sure that other transgender students are able to attend school safely and without discrimination.”

In addition to putting a permanent halt to the school board’s policy on transgender students using the bathroom of the gender they identify as, the ACLU and Grimm are also seeking nominal damage claims on behalf of Grimm.

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