Supreme Court To Review School Bathroom Rules For Transgender Students

Supreme Court To Review School Bathroom Rules For Transgender Students
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The US Supreme Court accepted a major transgender-rights case Friday, saying it would review whether a Virginia school board can bar a transgender student from using the boys’ restroom. This issue cropped up as a result of a case by a transgender teenager, 17-year-old student Gavin Grimm, who was born female but identifies as male wants to use the boys’ bathroom at his high school in Virginia, amid the heated transgender rights debate across the United States.

LGBT-Transgender

Gavin had been using the boys’ restroom at Gloucester High School with the assent of school administrators. In December 2014, the Gloucester County School Board overruled that policy, requiring instead that students use facilities corresponding to their biological sex.

In an interview, Grimm said it was unfair that he will continue to be barred from the boys’ bathroom at Gloucester High until the case is decided next year. Now a senior, he said he tries to avoid going to the bathroom altogether at school but uses the nurse’s bathroom when it is necessary.

 “It means I’m going to have spend another school year where I should be focused on college plans and prom and graduation … not able to use the bathroom at my school,” Grimm said.

Grimm, referred to as G.G. in court papers, came out as a transgender boy in his freshman year of high school, and as a result of hormone therapy, had a deep voice and facial hair, his lawyers told the court.

“In every aspect of life outside school, he is recognized as a boy,” wrote Joshua Block, a lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union. “At school, however, G. is singled out from every other student and forced to use separate restrooms because his school board has concluded that G.’s mere presence in a restroom used by other boys is unacceptable.”

Transgender students say using bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity is a civil right and critical to protect their well-being. But some parents, school board members and state legislatures have pushed back, calling for laws and policies that require students to use bathrooms aligned with the sex on their birth certificates. They argue that such rules are necessary to safeguard privacy and traditional values.

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