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Appeals court rules schools can't bar students from using bathroom in accordance with their gender identity

Appeals court rules schools can't bar students from using bathroom in accordance with their gender identity
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A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that schools cannot bar students from using the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, handing a major victory to supporters of LGBTQ rights.

BuzzFeed News reported that the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of transgender student Gavin Grimm's argument against the Gloucester County School District in Virginia, which refused to allow Grimm to use the men's restroom during his time at a public high school.

Grimm's case previously went all the way to the Supreme Court after the 4th Circuit found in his favor, but the high court threw out the appeals court's ruling after the Trump administration moved in early 2017 to toss Obama administration-era guidance directing schools to allow students to use the bathrooms of their choice.

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Wednesday's ruling marks Grimm's and the American Civil Liberties Union's second victory in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, though the district could once again pursue an appeal to the Supreme Court.

"The proudest moments of the federal judiciary have been when we affirm the burgeoning values of our bright youth, rather than preserve the prejudices of the past," wrote Judge Henry Floyd in his opinion Wednesday, according to BuzzFeed News. "How shallow a promise of equal protection that would not protect Grimm from the fantastical fears and unfounded prejudices of his adult community."

The victory, Grimm added in a statement to BuzzFeed, "is an incredible affirmation for not just me, but for trans youth around the country."

"All transgender students should have what I was denied: the opportunity to be seen for who we are by our schools and our government," said Grimm, who is now 20.