GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — In another development in a yearslong battle over bathroom rights for transgender students, the Gloucester County School Board has made an appeal in court over a ruling that said its transgender bathroom ban was unconstitutional.
The school board announced Wednesday it was appealing a previous court ruling that said the division had discriminated against a transgender male student, Gavin Grimm.
The board has requested an en banc review in the Richmond-based United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. That means the full circuit court of appeals — all the judges — could hear the case and could potentially overturn the previous ruling by a three-judge panel.
“We await that court’s further guidance,” the school wrote.
The last ruling, considered a victory for transgender rights advocates, as well as Grimm, was made late last month.
The panel determined that Gloucester’s requirement that Grimm use restrooms corresponding with his biological sex — the female bathrooms — or private bathrooms violated his rights when he was in school five years ago.
The three-judge panel with the appeals court wrote that the school board sent Grimm “to special bathrooms that might as well have said ‘Gavin’ on the sign.”
The panel’s decision upheld a previous one from a federal judge in Norfolk. That judge ruled in 2019 that Grimm’s rights were violated under the Constitution’s equal protection clause as well as under Title IX, a federal civil rights law that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.
Grimm began transitioning from female to male while attending school at Gloucester High School.
He has chest reconstruction surgery and hormone therapy. In 2016, as a senior in high school, he legally changed his sex to male via state court order and on his birth certificate.
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