DOJ: Gloucester transgender student’s lawsuit has merit under Title IX

The lawsuit filed by a 16-year-old transgender student over Gloucester County’s school restroom policy has merit under federal law, according to court documents filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.

The department filed what is called a “statement of interest” in federal court regarding the lawsuit filed earlier this month on behalf of Gavin Grimm by the American Civil Liberties Union. The document filed this week claims the district’s policy violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 because it discriminates on the basis of sex, which the department states includes gender identity and transgender status.

Grimm’s lawsuit seeks a court order requiring the School Board to let Grimm, who was born a biological female but identifies as a transgender boy, use the boys restroom.

The suit is charging the division with sex discrimination because of a restroom use policy that was approved by the School Board last December.

The policy restricts students to either single-stall restrooms or the restrooms designated for their biological gender.

The court document filed this week by the U.S. Department of Justice states “there is a strong public interest in requiring the District to treat [Grimm], a transgender male student, like all other male students, including allowing him to use the male restrooms at Gloucester High School.”

It also states that even though Grimm “was assigned the female sex at birth … his gender identity is male and he presents as a boy in all aspects of his life.”