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School board in Virginia may end its trans bathroom ban months before court case

School board in Virginia may end its trans bathroom ban months before court case

Gavin Grimm

A school district in Virginia is considering ending its trans-exclusive bathroom ban yesterday (19 February).

The Gloucester County School Board held a public forum to decide to end the ban.

The forum came months before a trial over the current policy.

For nearly four years, former student Gavin Grimm has been suing the school district after it banned him using the boy’s’ bathroom.

The board previously requested to dismiss Grimm’s claims.

The debate goes on

One person at the forum, Elizabeth Webster, 50, supported the change, according to Associated Press.

She said: ‘I’m sorry that folks are uncomfortable, but they’ll get over it.’

Though Kenny Smith, 67, strongly disagreed, and held up a bible as he spoke to the school board.

‘These are biological facts about chromosomes and where we came from.’

‘Far from perfect’

Grimm attended the forum to voice his support.

He said: ‘I have fought this legal battle for the past four years.

‘I want to make sure that other transgender students do not have to go through the same pain and humiliation that I did.’

He said the proposed policy is ‘far from perfect, but would represent an important first step’.

It ‘would also send the message to school districts across [Virginia] and the country that discrimination is unacceptable’.

His mother, Deidre Grimm, said God gave her her son to help ‘open people’s minds and hearts’.

The transcript debate

The school refused to change the gender on Grimm’s high school transcript, which still lists him as female.

Grimm said the unchanged transcript will stigmatize him every time a potential employer that asks for it.

‘I shouldn’t have to be outed against my will in every situation where I would have to give that document,’ Grimm said.

A court order legally changed Grimm’s gender to male.

His birth certificate, passport and a state-issued identification card in California list him as male.

Trans issues are constantly scrutinised 

Many American states are debating similar policy changes.

But federal law does not address them.

This mean while some states such as Massachusetts offer guidance on updating schools records, others such as Virginia do not.

Similarly, Massachusetts citizens voted to end the bathroom ban state-wide last year.

See also

New Jersey becomes latest state to require LGBTI-inclusive education

Post-graduation, trailblazing trans teen Gavin Grimm reflects on his high school years

Transphobia peaks in despicable bathroom political ad in Massachusetts