RICHMOND, Va. — The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that the Gloucester County School Board will be ordered to pay over $1.3 million in attorney’s fees and costs requested in Gavin Grimm’s discrimination case. After six years of litigation, the Supreme Court in June 2021 declined to review lower court decisions ruling that the school board’s discriminatory restroom policy for transgender students violated Title IX and the Constitution. In a court filing today, the school board informed the court it would not oppose Gavin’s petition for fees and costs and would pay the entire amount requested in the fee petition.
“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,” said Josh Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU LGBTQ & HIV Project. “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.”
“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 Gavin Grimm. “I hope that this outcome sends a strong message to other school systems, that discrimination is an expensive losing battle.”
“The resolution in Gavin’s case is yet another reason school boards across Virginia should adopt the model policies from the Virginia Department of Education,” said Eden Heilman, legal director at the ACLU of Virginia. “Discrimination has no place in Virginia schools, and Virginia taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for school boards who act in disregard for the law.”