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Virginia Schools Claim ‘Thousands Of Students In Virginia Public Schools … Identify As Transgender,’ Report Says

Four northern Virginia school systems, reportedly insisting that there are “thousands of students in Virginia public schools who … identify as transgender,” are supporting a transgender teen’s lawsuit filed because she was prevented from using the boys’ restroom.

Gavin Grimm sued the school board in Gloucester County, Virginia in 2015, claiming that its policy violated Title IX and the equal protection clause of the Constitution. The Obama administration had ruled that Title IX, which in 1972 banned discrimination in public schools “on the basis of sex,” also banned discrimination based on gender identity. In May 2016, the Obama administration issued a directive that threatened schools that did not comply, writing:

A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity. A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so … As a condition of receiving Federal funds, a school agrees that it will not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex any person in its educational programs or activities unless expressly authorized to do so under Title IX or its implementing regulations.

In early August 2016, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a court order that allowed Grimm to use the boys’ bathroom. Later that month, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that the federal government had issued “directives which contradict the existing legislative and regulatory text.”

In February 2017, the Trump administration’s Justice and Education departments issued a statement invalidating the Obama administration’s directive, writing that the Obama documents did not “contain extensive legal analysis or explain how the position is consistent with the express language of Title IX, nor did they undergo any formal public process. This interpretation has given rise to significant litigation regarding school restrooms and locker rooms.” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said, “The president has made it clear throughout the campaign that he’s a firm believer in states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level.”

But now the Alexandria, Falls Church, Fairfax and Arlington county school boards have united to back Grimm’s lawsuit, filing a friend-of-the-court brief for the case, which will be heard in July in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The brief asserts, “Male students, teachers, and parents have not used the policy as a ruse to improperly access female restrooms. Sex offenders have not exploited the policy to prey on children. Transgender students have not suffered greater stigma or trauma. Those fears have proved entirely unfounded.”

Ilryong Moon, the Fairfax school board member pushing for the amicus brief, said, “It’s a perfect opportunity for us to show support for Grimm.”

The Gloucester County School Board had required students to utilize restrooms that matched their biological genders.

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