Friday, June 12, 2015

Transgender Student Sues Gloucester County School Board

Some of the outlying areas of Hampton Roads often seem to go out of their way to be backward and to reject modernity in general.  Not surprisingly, many of these areas are Republican controlled.  Why accept modern science and knowledge when one can be a knuckle dragging Neanderthal.  Urging on these backward motivations, of course, one can typically find the "godly folk."  Gloucester County - across the York River from Yorktown - is one such area of Hampton Roads.  Now, given its backwards policies towards transgendered students, the Gloucester County School Board finds itself the target of a federal lawsuit.  The Washington Blade has details.  Here are highlights:
The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against a Virginia school district over its controversial policy that requires students to use restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their “biological gender.”

The ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia brought the case against the Gloucester County School Board on behalf of Gavin Grimm, a transgender boy who has been required to use a unisex restroom in the nurse’s office since the policy took effect in December. 

The lawsuit claims the policy violates both the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX that prohibits schools that receive federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex. It also states that Grimm is “currently the only student in his school who must use separate private restrooms.”

“The distinction stigmatizes Gavin and marks him as different from the other students; it isolates Gavin from his peers and it exposes him to serious psychological harm,” reads the lawsuit. “To avoid the stigma of having to use separate restrooms, Gavin has tried to avoid using any restroom during the school day.”

Grimm and his mother, who is also named as a plaintiff in the lawsuit, are seeking “preliminary and permanent injunctions requiring the school board to allow Gavin to use the boys’ restrooms at school.” They are also seeking unspecified damages.

The ACLU and the ACLU of Virginia alleged in a complaint it filed with the Educational Opportunities Section of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in December that the school board’s policy violates Title IX. Kim Hensley, the only member of the Gloucester County School Board who voted against the policy, told the Washington Blade late last year she feels it could potentially jeopardize the district’s federal funding.

Gloucester County School Board Chair Randy Burak on Thursday did not immediately return the Blade’s request for comment on the ACLU lawsuit.

Let's be candid.  The purpose of the policy IS to stigmatize Gavin.  And to protect little Johnny and Suzie from  having face the reality that some people are different and that they just need to get over it.

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