The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against a Virginia school district over a bathroom policy they say discriminates against transgender students. The ACLU alleged the Gloucester County School Board's rule that transgender students must use alternative facilities is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment and Title IX law, which prevents discrimination in federally funded schools, according to a news release.
“The school board’s policy is deeply stigmatizing and needlessly cruel,” senior staff attorney Joshua Block said in a statement. “Any student -- transgender or not -- should be free to use single-stall restrooms if they want extra privacy. Instead of protecting the privacy of all students, the school board has chosen to single out transgender students as unfit to use the same restrooms as everyone else.”
— Marissa Jasek WTKR (@MarissaJasek) December 10, 2014
The school board took a vote and in December approved a policy that said students with "gender identity issues" should use "alternative appropriate private" facilities. Grimm and other transgender students had to use single-stall restrooms or restrooms that corresponded with their biological sex, the Daily Press reported. He filed a complaint soon after with the Department of Justice.
"The distinction stigmatizes Gavin and marks him as different from the other students; it isolates Gavin from his peers; and it exposes him to serious psychological harm," the new lawsuit reads, adding that he's developed urinary tract infections as a result of trying to avoid using the bathroom at school.
The ACLU argued that the policy amounted to discrimination based on gender and sex, which the lawsuit states violates the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause as well as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Grimm and his lawyers also filed a motion for an injunction asking the court to rule before he starts school again this fall.
“I just want to use the restroom in peace,” Grimm said in a statement.