Saturday, June 02, 2018

Goucester County School Board Continues War Against Transgender Students

Gloucester County School Board - a study in bigotry and cowardice.
Ironically, in the same issue of the Washington Post that has the piece cited in the prior post about the failure of evangelicals to police their own houses of worship, another story reports on how the Gloucester County, Virginia, school board - pressured no doubt by the same evangelical crowd who started the witch hunt in the first place - has opted to continue its war against transgender students.  Rather than do the right thing and abide by the recent federal court ruling that ordered the school board to protect the rights of transgender students, the board has filed an appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which, with luck, will render a legal form of bitch slapping to the board. Meanwhile, Gloucester County continues to enjoy a worldwide image of a bigoted backwater that ought to be avoided by progressive businesses and truly moral people.  Here are article highlights:
The Virginia school board that was sued by a transgender student over its bathroom rules said Friday it is appealing a federal judge’s decision.
Gavin Grimm, now 19, sued the Gloucester County School Board when he was a high school sophomore. Grimm, who is transgender, said the school board’s policy barring him from using the boys’ bathroom was discriminatory.
Late last month, a federal judge ruled in his favor, saying that the board’s policy violated Title IX, which bars sex discrimination in public schools, and the Equal Protection Clause, which assures parity under the law.
In a brief filed Friday, the board’s attorney, David P. Corrigan, challenged the ruling. Corrigan argued that Title IX does not protect the right of transgender students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity. He said the board’s policy, which requires students to use bathrooms according to their “biological sex,” is constitutional.
Grimm had the backing of the Obama administration, which filed briefs in his favor and argued the bathroom rule violated Title IX. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, based in Richmond, sided with Grimm in 2016, deferring to the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX.
Grimm’s case was appealed to the Supreme Court by the school board, and the court was set to hear it in spring 2017. But the Supreme Court sent Grimm’s case back to a lower federal court after the Trump administration reversed the guidance on transgender student rights.
Grimm’s attorney, Joshua Block of the ACLU, welcomed Friday’s appeal by the school district. Grimm is now a 19-year-old activist in Berkeley, Calif.
“The vast majority of courts have already made clear that these discriminatory and harmful policies violate Title IX,” Block said. “We’re confident that the 4th Circuit would agree.”
Gloucester County remains a place to be avoided.

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