Gavin Grimm, now 22, filed a lawsuit when he was a teenager after being told he could no longer use the male restroom at his school. Grimm, who is a transgender male, believed that his rights were being violated. The school told him he could either use the female restroom or use a private restroom. This decision was supported by the Gloucester County School Board due to the fact that Grimm had not undergone sex-reassignment surgery and was still anatomically female.
The American Civil Liberties Union represented Grimm and argued that he was protected under federal law, the 14th amendment and Title IX, from discrimination as a transgender person. A lower court found the school’s policy unconstitutional which led to an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case which means the lower court ruling stands.
This response from the Supreme Court could set a precedent for future situations involving transgender students. Although the Court did not take up this case, this does not mean a similar case will not be addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the future.
This response also has implications for schools across America. Not all parents are comfortable with their cisgender children being in the school restroom at the same time as their transgender peers. School boards and school leaders will have to determine if they need to adjust their bathroom policies or attempt to implement policies like the school in Virginia where Grimm had to use the restroom in the nurse’s office or a restroom that was private. Regardless of the decision, there will be some students and families that will be unhappy.