G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear argument March 28, 2017 in this case brought by the American Civil Liberties Union involving a 16-year-old transgender Virginia boy whose use of the boys’ room prompted the school board to enact a policy excluding transgender students from using the same restrooms as their peers.
In April 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a ruling confirming a policy set by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights ensuring Gavin Grimm, then a 15-year-old transgender student in Virginia, should be fully respected as a boy at his school, including in being able to access the boys’ room.
Gavin’s use of the boys’ room prompted the Gloucester County School Board to enact a policy excluding transgender students from using the same restrooms as their peers, even though no other students complained when Gavin used the boys’ room. The ACLU filed suit against the school board on behalf of Gavin, arguing that the school’s actions violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and constitutional guarantees of equal protection. Title IX prohibits sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding.
The Appeals Court decision reversed the district court’s dismissal of Gavin’s Title IX claim and instructed the lower court to defer to policy set by the Department of Education which requires schools to provide transgender students access to restroom facilities based on the student’s gender identity.
The school board appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.
GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer Levi is helping to shepherd five different amicus briefs to be filed in support of Gavin at the Supreme Court.
One brief is being written on behalf of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, the nation’s leading clinics specializing in serving transgender youth, Dr. Norman Spack of Boston Children’s Hospital, and a number of other prominent doctors and medical and policy organizations with expertise in adolescent and transgender health issues. It closely examines research on child development of identity, and the role of schools in advancing—or thwarting—healthy development, and makes the case that being able to use the same bathroom as other students at school is critical for the healthy development of transgender adolescents..
GLAD, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), and Goodwin Procter LLP previously filed an amicus brief with the appeals court on behalf of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and other medical and mental health associations.