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Federal Court Upholds Students' Right to Use Bathroom Matching Gender Identity

A federal court sided Tuesday with Gavin Grimm, a transgender student who sued the Gloucester County, Virginia, school board after it banned him from the men's restroom.

The case began in 2014, when the school board implemented a policy requiring students to use the bathrooms matching their biological sex or a single occupancy restroom. Grimm said the policy served to "further alienate and stigmatize me by forcing me to use separate restrooms from all of the other students at school." His lawyers argued that the board's policy violated Title IX’s ban against sex discrimination in schools.

The United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case last year, after the Trump administration reversed the federal government's position that Title IX protected transgender students' right to use the bathroom matching their gender identity. The school board asked the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia to dismiss the case.

Instead, the court ordered the board to schedule a settlement conference with Grimm, who graduated in 2017, within 30 days.