Virginia school board reaches $1.3M settlement with Gavin Grimm over bathroom policy

Virginia school board reaches $1.3M settlement with Gavin Grimm over bathroom policy
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A Virginia school board has reached a settlement with Gavin Grimm, a transgender man who sued the board after the school officials did not allow him to use the bathroom that corresponds with his gender identity. 

The Gloucester Country School Board agreed to pay $1.3 million in attorney’s fees and costs in the settlement. 

In 2014, Grimm was allegedly told by the school board that he could not use a bathroom designated for boys. The school board later allowed him to use his own bathroom amid an outcry from parents upset with the school's decision, The Washington Post reported.

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Grimm opted to sue the school board instead, a case which, after six years, almost made its way to the Supreme Court.

However, the high court said it would not hear Grimm’s case after the school board tried to appeal appeal a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, which sided with Grimm, the Post reported.

“Rather than allow a child equal access to a safe school environment, the Gloucester School Board decided to fight this child for five years in a costly legal battle that they lost,” Grimm said in a statement. “I hope that this outcome sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is an expensive losing battle.”

A press release from Gloucester County School Board addressed the lawsuit stating, "The insurance provider for the Gloucester County School Board has addressed the Plaintiff’s request for attorney fees and costs resulting from the Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board litigation. The School Board has no further comment on this matter."

“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, Grimm’s lawyer, 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.

Updated Aug. 27, 1:52 p.m.