Virginia School Board to Pay $1.3M in Transgender Student's Suit Over Bathroom Ban

"I hope that this outcome sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is an expensive losing battle," Gavin Grimm said in a statement

gavin grimm
Gavin Grimm . Photo: Mike Pont/WireImage

Virginia's Gloucester County School Board will cover the costs and fees related to transgender activist Gavin Grimm's years-long legal fight.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Grimm in the legal battle, on Thursday announced that the school board was ordered to "pay over $1.3 million in attorney's fees and costs" — and had agreed to pay the entire amount in a court filing.

"We are glad that this long litigation is finally over and that Gavin has been fully vindicated by the courts, but it should not have taken over six years of expensive litigation to get to this point," Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project, said in a statement.

"After a year in which state legislatures have introduced an unprecedented number of bills targeting trans youth, we hope that the fee award will give other school boards and lawmakers pause before they use discrimination to score political points," Block added.

The Gloucester County School Board also released a short statement last week.

"The insurance provider for the Gloucester County School Board has addressed thePlaintiff's request for attorney fees and costs resulting from the Grimm v.Gloucester County School Board litigation," officials said. "The School Board has no further comment on this matter."

In his own statement, Grimm, now 22, wrote that he hoped the decision "sends a strong message to other school systems."

"Rather than allow a child equal access to a safe school environment, the Gloucester School Board decided to fight this child for five years in a costly legal battle that they lost," said Grimm. "I hope that this outcome sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is an expensive losing battle."

Grimm went on to note on Twitter that he is "not getting any of the money that the school board is paying out," and is only receiving "1 dollar in nominal damages."

Grimm was a teenager in 2015 when he first filed a federal lawsuit over being banned from using the boy's bathroom, according to the Associated Press. He argued that the school's decision was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and Title IX, which protects against gender discrimination in school.

After previously winning his case twice in federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court in June declined to hear his case.

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"It's absolutely vindication," Grimm told Insider last week, noting that he hopes his victory will help discourage states from moving forward with similar anti-trans policies.

"There's plenty of states that still have ongoing anti-trans legislation," he added. "I hope that they look at this and know that their time is coming to an end."

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