Gloucester Co. School Board to file petition with SCOTUS over transgender bathroom case

FILE -- This Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015 file photo shows Gavin Grimm on his front porch during an interview at his home in Gloucester, Va. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

GLOUCESTER COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The Gloucester County School Board says it is filing a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking for a review of a federal appeals court decision on bathroom access for a transgender student.

Gloucester High School junior Gavin Grimm was born female but identifies as a male. Grimm wants to use the boys’ restroom, but the school system barred him from doing so.

In April, a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 to overturn the school board’s bathroom policy. The panel ruled that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use school restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

On May 3, the school system issued an appeal, asking the entire 15-judge court of appeals panel to reconsider the smaller panel’s decision.

The full appeals court last week refused to reconsider the 2-1 panel decision in favor of 16-year-old Grimm.

The decision is now on hold until the Supreme Court decides whether to take the case.

The appeals court agreed Tuesday to wait on issuing its final ruling until the Supreme Court decides whether or not to take the case.

The school board released a statement Tuesday, which reads:

The Gloucester County School Board’s solution of providing three single stall unisex restrooms that anyone could use was a practical, nondiscriminatory answer that met everyone’s interests and properly balanced the needs of transgender students with other students’ right to bodily privacy. As such, the School Board intends to file a petition with the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.”

The school board divulged its plans in papers filed Tuesday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, calling the case “one of national significance.” Read the new filings here and here.

Grimm’s case has been closely watched since North Carolina enacted a law banning transgender people from using public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity. Several cases over the law are pending in federal courts in North Carolina.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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