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Tags: virginia school board | settlement | transgender

Virginia School Board Strikes $1.3M Bathroom Policy Settlement With Transgender Man

gavin grimm stands on red carpet
Gavin Grimm attends the 2017 Time 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017, in New York City. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME)

By    |   Friday, 27 August 2021 08:11 AM

The Virginia school board that refused to let a transgender student use the boys' restroom has agreed to settle the case for $1.3 million, The Washington Post reported.

The money will cover Gavin Grimm's attorney’s fees and other costs associated with the discrimination case against the Gloucester County School Board, the Post reported Thursday.

The settlement came nearly two months after the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, effectively handing a victory to Grimm.

The Supreme Court previously took up the case in 2016 but did not issue a ruling and sent it back to lower courts.

"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," Grimm said in a statement, The Hill reported.

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

Grimm sued the school board in 2014 after being told he could not use a bathroom designated for boys. He previously had used the boys' bathroom for about seven weeks before complaints from parent prompted the school board to adopt a policy that required students use the bathroom that corresponded with their gender at birth.

He was given the option of using a separate gender-neutral bathroom, but refused to do so.

A Gloucester County School Board spokeswoman confirmed to the Post in a statement that the board had agreed to pay Grimm’s attorney fees but declined further comment.

Grimm's lawyer, Josh Block of the American Civil Liberties Union, issued a statement to the Post saying the financial settlement, combined with the Supreme Court’s decision, meant Grimm "has been fully vindicated."

"It should not have taken over six years of expensive litigation to get to this point," Block said.

"After a year in which state legislatures have introduced an unprecedented number of bills targeting trans youth, we hope that the fee award will give other school boards and lawmakers pause before they use discrimination to score political points," Block added, The Hill reported.

Grimm, now in his 20s, was a high school sophomore who sought to use the boys’ restroom.

"Being forced to use the nurse's room, a private bathroom, and the girl’s room was humiliating for me," Grimm said in June. "Having to go to out-of-the-way bathrooms severely interfered with my education."

President Joe Biden's administration, reversing the position taken by the government under former President Donald Trump, said on June 16 that Title IX protects both gender identity and sexual orientation.

Reuters contributed to this story.

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The Virginia school board that refused to let a transgender student use the boys' restroom has agreed to settle the case for $1.3 million. The money will cover Gavin Grimm's attorney's fees and other...
virginia school board, settlement, transgender
Friday, 27 August 2021 08:11 AM
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