Case Summary & History
Case: G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board
STATUS: Pending | Virginia
On October 28, 2015, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), and Goodwin Procter LLP filed an amicus brief on behalf of medical and mental health professionals in support of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. The case, filed in federal district court in Virginia by the American Civil Liberties Union, involves Gavin Grimm, a 16-year-old transgender Virginia boy whose use of the boys’ room prompted the school board to enact a policy excluding transgender students from using the same restrooms as their peers.
Filed on behalf of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, the Pediatric Endocrine Society, Dr. Norman Spack of Boston Children’s Hospital, and a number of other prominent doctors and organizations focused on transgender health issues, the brief takes a close look at research on the development of identity in adolescence, and the role of schools in supporting – or thwarting – healthy development.
GLAD’s and NCLR’s brief cites peer-reviewed research to show that 1) schools play a crucial role in child development; 2) identity development is the task of every child, particularly in adolescence; 3) external factors such as stigma, social segregation, and discrimination can harm the development of identity in transgender youth; 4) external factors such as social integration, school support, and the leadership of adults can support the healthy development of transgender adolescents.
On April 19, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal of GG’s Title IX claim and ordered that the Court reconsider whether GG is entitled to access to the boys’ restroom while the case is litigated. The Court’s opinion relied on the federal government’s long-standing interpretation of sex discrimination to include a person’s affirmed gender. The resolution agreement in Student v. Arcadia Unified School District in 2013 was the first time the federal government applied that interpretation to Title IX.