Va. Court Tells School to Give Transgender Teen Bathroom Access
Gavin Grimm on his front porch during an interview at his home in Gloucester, Va., on Aug. 25, 2015. A U.S. appeals court has overturned a policy barring a transgender student from using the boys' restrooms at his Virginia high school.Steve Helber / AP
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A federal appeals court ruled earlier this year that public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity. It was the first such decision of its kind, and the Obama administration cited the ruling in its transgender lawsuit against North Carolina and in a letter to all the nation's schools.
In April, the appeals court declined to revisit its ruling. The school board has vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court.
But while the case is on appeal, Judge Robert Doumar ordered the school to let the student, referred to in court documents as G.G., use the boys' bathroom.
"This case is only about G.G's access to the boys' restrooms; G.G. has not requested access to the boys' locker rooms," the judge said.
“I am elated to hear that I’ll be able to attend my senior year of high school with my full rights restored,” Grimm said.
The school board, in Gloucester, a rural part of Virginia on the Chesapeake Bay, originally said Grimm could use a unisex bathroom. But he sued, saying that only worsened his anguish of being transgender.
Pete Williams is an NBC News correspondent who covers the Justice Department and the Supreme Court, based in Washington.