December 22, 2014 at 11:09 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Va. school district restroom, locker room policy challenged

Gavin Grimm, gay news, Washington Blade

Gavin Grimm (Photo courtesy of Gavin Grimm)

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Virginia have filed a federal complaint against a local school district over its controversial policy requiring students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their “biological gender.”

The complaint the ACLU filed with the Educational Opportunities Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division states the policy the Gloucester County School Board approved by a 6-1 vote margin on Dec. 9 violates Title IX that prohibits schools that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex.

“The ‘biological gender’ policy at GCPS (Gloucester County Public Schools) singles out transgender students for disparate treatment based on their transgender status,” reads the complaint.

The school board approved the controversial policy after administrators at Gloucester County High School allowed Gavin Grimm, a trans boy, to use boys’ restrooms.

The ACLU in its complaint says Grimm had been able to use restrooms consistent with his gender identity and expression since late October with “no disruption of any kind at the school during the ensuring month.”

“To our knowledge, not a single student complained to school officials or expressed discomfort with Gavin using the boys’ restrooms on campus,” reads the complaint.

The complaint notes the school board approved its policy after it received complaints from parents.

“The ‘biological gender’ restroom and locker room policy, and the experience of having his use of the bathroom be the subject of public debate, has made school an unwelcoming place for Gavin,” it reads. “Beginning on December 10, 2014, school officials have prevented Gavin from using the boys’ restroom and required him to travel to a unisex restroom in the nurse’s office instead. As a result, Gavin is once again stigmatized and isolated from his peers whenever he has to use the restroom.”

Randy Burak, chair of the Gloucester County School Board, on Monday declined to comment on the complaint.

Kim Hensley is the only member of the board who voted against the policy.

She told the Washington Blade earlier this month it “violates the civil rights of transgender students by denying them equal access to school facilities.” Hensley added she feels the policy could potentially jeopardize the district’s federal funding.

“Gloucester County Public Schools can protect the privacy rights of all students and still comply with Title IX by retrofitting bathrooms to make sure that there are only stalls in the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms,” she told the Blade. “This would be a fast and cost effective way to address community concerns.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

3 Comments
  • Wow…..while other school districts are accommodating trans students (as required per Federal law), Gloucester holds up a middle finger. Let's see who wins….a school board controlled by parental mutinies….or the federal government.

  • wwelcooem to VA the capital off the confederacy was in Richmond

    BTW the rightt wing assholes eg the aclJ had an advertisment on one of the pages I looked at calling to support "persecuted xtians

    Note the similarity to the ACLU which fights these boneheads of the acl J

    see rightwingwatch.org for all kinds of crud . the more these religious ffreaks scream, iits acatually an admission they have all butt lost the battle.

    Also see re the ACLJ how it basically is a hate group.

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/search/node/aclj%20type:blog

  • BTW time for america to grow up about sex in general. In iceland, denmark and sweden, public toilet facilities are all gender neutral, walls are floor to ceiling, and sealed at tthe bottom. Obvious benefit if your neighbor is having a bad stomach day

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