A Virginia school board will pay $1.3 million over a lawsuit brought by a transgender student who was denied access to the boys' bathroom

·3 min read
Activist Gavin Grimm arrives for the Time 100 Gala in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, U.S. April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Activist Gavin Grimm arrives for the Time 100 Gala in the Manhattan borough of New York Thomson Reuters
  • Trans student Gavin Grimm sued his school board in 2015 for blocking him from the boys' bathroom.

  • Courts ruled Grimm was discriminated against, and the school board will now pay out $1.3 million.

  • Grimm said he wants those passing anti-trans legislation to know: "Slowly and surely we're coming for all of them."

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Virginia school board that denied transgender student Gavin Grimm access to the boys' bathroom will pay $1.3 million in a lawsuit settlement.

"It's absolutely vindication," Grimm told Insider. "The court found that what they did was wrong and it was discrimination and it was not going to go without consequence, and I think that's fantastic."

Grimm, 22, sued the Gloucester County School Board in 2015 after it prohibited him from using the bathroom that matched his gender identity, arguing the policy violated Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in schools.

The American Civil Liberties Union represented Grimm in the lawsuit, which was praised by transgender rights advocates. In June, the Supreme Court declined to review the case, upholding the lower court ruling that Grimm was discriminated against in violation of federal law.

The ACLU announced Thursday that the case had been settled and that the Gloucester County School Board would be ordered to pay $1.3 million to cover attorney fees and other costs associated with the case.

"We are glad that this long litigation is finally over and that Gavin has been fully vindicated by the courts, but it should not have taken over six years of expensive litigation to get to this point," Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in a statement.

"After a year in which state legislatures have introduced an unprecedented number of bills targeting trans youth, we hope that the fee award will give other school boards and lawmakers pause before they use discrimination to score political points," he continued.

The ACLU has previously said at least 28 states are voting on anti-trans legislation this year, Insider's Canela López reported. Many of the bills directly target transgender students by banning them from playing sports or using bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The Gloucester County School Board released a short statement about the settlement, saying its insurance provider had agreed to pay attorney fees and costs resulting from the litigation.

Grimm said he personally will not be receiving the funds from the payout but expressed gratitude that the ACLU was able to work on his behalf and would now be compensated.

He said the years-long case was worth "every drop of energy" that he put into it and that he'd do it all over again in a heartbeat.

He hopes that this legal win and others like it will deter anti-trans policies in the future by setting a precedent that says discrimination against trans people will not win in court.

"There's plenty of states that still have ongoing anti-trans legislation," Grimm said. "But slowly and surely we're coming for all of them."

"Their hatred and discrimination is struck down in court over and over again," he said of lawmakers pushing anti-trans bills. "I hope that they look at this and know that their time is coming to an end."

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