Apparently, the Obama Administration thinks they need to involve themselves in the case of a 16-year-old transgender student named Gavin Grimm, a girl, who identifies as a boy, that believes he/she should be able to use any boy’s restroom at the school.
The U.S. Department of Justice Tuesday filed a statement of interest in a lawsuit brought against the Gloucester County school board by the American Civil Liberties Union on Grimm’s behalf. In that lawsuit, filed June 18, the ACLU alleges the district’s restroom policy violates federal Title IX student protections because it discriminates against transgender students, the Daily Press reports.
The department filed what is called a “statement of interest” in federal court regarding the lawsuit filed earlier this month on behalf of Gavin Grimm by the American Civil Liberties Union. The document filed this week claims the district’s policy violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 because it discriminates on the basis of sex, which the department states includes gender identity and transgender status.
Grimm is also seeking a court order to force the school district to let him use all male restrooms at his school next year while his case is pending. Grimm’s lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the School Board to let Grimm, who was born a biological female but identifies as a transgender boy, use the boys restroom.
The suit is charging the division with sex discrimination because of a restroom use policy that was approved by the School Board last December.
The policy restricts students to either single-stall restrooms or the restrooms designated for their biological gender.
The court document filed this week by the U.S. Department of Justice states “there is a strong public interest in requiring the District to treat [Grimm], a transgender male student, like all other male students, including allowing him to use the male restrooms at Gloucester High School.”
It also states that even though Grimm “was assigned the female sex at birth … his gender identity is male and he presents as a boy in all aspects of his life.
It also states that even though Grimm “was assigned the female sex at birth … his gender identity is male and he presents as a boy in all aspects of his life.”
“The Department of Justice filing makes crystal clear that the Gloucester County School Board’s transgender restroom policy violates Title IX. All students — including transgender students — should be able to use the restroom without being stigmatized and humiliated for being who they are,” Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU, said in a news release Tuesday afternoon.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed an administrative complaint in late December on behalf of Grimm with the U.S. Justice and Education departments. In response, the department of justice requested earlier this year, along with a large of amount of documentation, that the district reconsider its policy decision.
In April, the School District responded, standing firm on its policy, which included the implementation of extra privacy measures in the school district’s restrooms and making the single-stall restrooms available to the entire student body, not just Grimm.
Earlier this month, Kimberly Hensley, the only School Board member to vote against the policy change, said she was not surprised by the lawsuit and was worried that the policy could put the school system’s federal funding at risk. Hensley also could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Rebecca Glenberg, legal director of the ACLU of Virginia, said on Tuesday the school division has 21 days to respond to the lawsuit, which was served on the district June 18. However, the ACLU filed for an injunction on behalf of Grimm that would require the district to allow Grimm to use the boys restroom when school starts in the fall.
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UPDATE: July 2, 2015 @4 PM
The U.S. Justice Department announced in a court filing that transgender students must be allowed to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.
The department says in a statement of interest filed Monday that failure to do so amounts to sex discrimination under Title IX of the U.S. Education Amendments of 1972.
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HT EAG News
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