GLOUCESTER, Va. — A Virginia girl who identifies as a boy has sued her local school district in an effort to obtain permission to use the men’s restroom at school.
As previously reported, Gavin Grimm, 16, told reporters in December that she began using the boys’ restroom after obtaining permission from the school principal when she expressed disapproval over being forced to use the nurse restroom.
“I’m not a girl. I’m not using the girl’s restroom,” Grimm stated. “So I said, ‘Hey, where can I use the restroom?’ … And so they said, ‘Use the nurse’s room,’ and at the time I was fine with that, because I was still afraid—I didn’t know how my peers would react. So, I didn’t want to push the envelope any further than I had to all at once.”
But she said that the option soon became a problem.
“The nurse’s office is at least a three minute walk from the class I have closest to it. It took a substantial amount of time out of my class time, and it was embarrassing,” Grimm said. “When you’re gone for 15 minutes at a time to use the bathroom, what are high schoolers gonna think? It’s humiliating and it’s alienating.”
So, the student asked the principal about the matter, who suggested that Grimm go ahead and use the boy’s restroom since she identifies as a boy. But some of the parents of the male students soon learned about the allowance, and the issue turned up before the school district.
The district soon voted to approve a policy requiring students to utilize the restroom that correlates with their biological gender, or to use a private bathroom.
And now, with the assistance of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Grimm has filed a lawsuit against the Gloucester County School District in an effort to overturn the policy.
“As a result of the School Board’s transgender restroom policy, Gavin is currently the only student in his school who must use separate private restrooms,” the complaint reads.
“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,” it continues. “To avoid the stigma of having to use separate restrooms, Gavin has tried to avoid using any restroom during the school day.”
The lawsuit also asserts that “[b]y excluding Gavin—a transgender boy—from the boys restrooms because the school board does not deem him to be ‘biologically’ male, the school board, under color of state law, has treated and continues to treat Gavin differently from similarly situated students based on his gender.”
The Christian legal organization Liberty Counsel has offered to represent the Gloucester County School Board for free.
“A student is not free to override biology, as well as the safety, privacy, and religious concerns of others, and to demand admittance into opposite-sex restrooms and locker rooms,” Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, said in a statement. “While students with gender confusion should be treated with respect, that does not include disrespecting other students by admittance into opposite-sex, private spaces.”