|Gavin Grimm testified at the second Newport News school board vote reminding them that is it is very expensive to break the law.|
The ACLU announced Thursday that it will pay 1.3 million dollars attorney fees to end a landmark six-year-long transgender discrimination case.
It began in 2015 when Gavin Grimm, then a high school student was denied the use of the boy's bathroom despite having used it trouble-free at his school for seven weeks.
The Glouster School Board instituted anti-trans rules that required Grimm to use the nurse's single-stall bathroom.
The School board fought Grimm all the way to the Supreme Court which declined to take his case.
“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,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project. “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.”
“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,” said Gavin Grimm. “I hope that this outcome sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is an expensive losing battle.”
“The resolution in Gavin’s case is yet another reason school boards across Virginia should adopt the model policies from the Virginia Department of Education,” said Eden Heilman, legal director at the ACLU of Virginia. “Discrimination has no place in Virginia schools, and Virginia taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for school boards who act in disregard for the law.”
Related: Newport News School Board reverses course, votes to approve protections for transgender, nonbinary students