Gloucester Co. schools to discuss transgender students restroom policy

GLOUCESTER Co., Va. - The Gloucester County School Board will hold a public hearing to discuss the restroom policy involving transgender students.

Discussion of a School Board policy on the use of restroom facilities related to the resolution that was adopted on December 9, 2014.

The policy being discussed would allow transgender students to use the restroom consistent with the student’s asserted gender identity when the following criteria is met:

  1. The student has appropriate medical documentation from a licensed, treating healthcare provider who specializes in the
    treatment of transgender individuals.
  2. The student has consistently asserted the student’s gender identity for a period of at least six months.
  3. The student has undergone treatment recommended by the student’s healthcare provider, which may include social
    transition or hormonal therapy for at least six months.

The hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 19, at 6:30 p.m.

In May 2018, a federal court in Virginia sided with transgender rights activist Gavin Grimm saying that federal law protects transgender students from being forced to use separate restrooms.

The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia denied the Gloucester County School Board’s motion to dismiss its case against Grimm, who graduated from Gloucester High School in June 2017. The court held that Title IX and the Constitution protect transgender students from being excluded from public restrooms that align with their gender identity.

Grimm was assigned female at birth but has identified as male since his freshman year in high school. Court documents say Grimm used the boys’ restrooms at the school for approximately seven weeks without incident.

The Gloucester County School Board overruled its administrators and enacted a new policy prohibiting boys and girls “with gender identity issues” from using the same restrooms as other students after some adults in the community complained, which resulted in a new policy that required transgender students to use an “alternative appropriate private facility.”

Grimm filed the original complaint in June 2015.

The ACLU says Grimm will end the lawsuit if the school board adopts a policy that he approves. In a statement, he says although the potential new policy is far from perfect, it's a first step.

"I have fought this legal battle for the past four years because I want to make sure that other transgender students do not have to go through the same pain and humiliation that I did," Grimm said.

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