Trans Teen’s Lawsuit Against School Can Go Forward, Appeals Court Rules

Gavin Grimm(RICHMOND, Va.) -- A federal appeals court in Virginia ruled that a trans teen who had filed a lawsuit against his Virginia high school after being denied access to the boys' bathroom can proceed with his case.

A three-judge panel for the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a district court to reevaluate a preliminary injunction filed by 16-year-old Gavin Grimm and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), arguing that the lower court's original dismissal was based on inappropriate standards. It also revived their Title IX lawsuit, ruling the lower court had used faulty criteria in dismissing the Gloucester High School student's sex discrimination claim.

The ruling essentially allows Grimm to continue to sue the Gloucester School District, but he is still barred from using the boys' bathroom as his case moves forward through the courts.

Grimm, 16, felt "relieved" after the court's ruling, he said in a statement through the ACLU.

“Today’s decision gives me hope that my fight will help other kids avoid discriminatory treatment at school," Grimm said Tuesday.

The Gloucester School Board declined to comment on the court's decision when contacted by ABC News.

In an interview with ABC News in June, Grimm said he had been adhering to the policy at school, but called the situation “stressful and humiliating.”

"It makes it impossible for me to live as myself peacefully,” Grimm said in July. “The issue has outed me on grand scale, which should never have to happen to anyone."

Grimm was born female but identifies as male. He was allowed to use the boys’ restroom at the high school in 2014 for several weeks after informing the school about his transition and receiving permission from the school principal, he said.

The school board adopted a policy, in December of that year, after some parents complained, requiring students to use either the restroom that corresponds with their biological gender or a private, single-stall.

The announcement was made after the school board voted 6-1 in favor of the new policy, according to the public meeting minutes posted online.

The majority of the 37 members of the public who commented at the meeting expressed opposition to Grimm's use of the boys' restroom, according to the federal lawsuit suing the school board.

"One speaker called him a 'freak' and compared him to a person who thinks he is a 'dog' and wants to urinate on fire hydrants," the ACLU alleged in the court complaint.

In July, the U.S. Justice Department filed a “statement of interest” in Grimm’s case.

In a statement, the ACLU called the ruling "vindication" for Grimm.

“Gavin’s fight has been a beacon of hope in the face of increasingly hostile rhetoric against transgender people in Virginia, and across the nation,” said Gail Deady, The Secular Society Women’s Rights Legal Fellow at the ACLU of Virginia. “The court’s ruling sends a strong message to schools and lawmakers that discriminatory restroom policies don’t just harm transgender students, they put Title IX funding at risk.”

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombs

Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombsRuskpp/iStock/Thinkstock(MCLEAN, Va.) -- A Labrador retriever named Lulu has flunked out of bomb-sniffing school after she displayed to her handlers that she was no longer interested in detecting bombs, according to the CIA.

"We are sad to announce that Lulu has been dropped from the program," the CIA announced in a press release Wednesday.

Lulu did not make the cut to graduate with her fellow fall 2017 puppy classmates after she began to show signs that she wasn't interested in sniffing out explosive odors a few weeks into training.

We’re sad to announce that a few weeks into training, Lulu began to show signs that she wasn’t interested in detecting explosive odors. pic.twitter.com/c6lxHPfC09

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

There are a million reasons why a dog has a bad day & our trainers must become doggy psychologists to figure out what will help pups. pic.twitter.com/iaeRpGiSUR

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Pups often have off days when they're training for such an important job, the CIA said. The issue -- which can often be fixed with more playtime and breaks -- is often temporary.

"After a few days, the trainers work the pup through whatever issue has arisen, and the dog is back eagerly and happily ready to continue training," the CIA said. "But for some dogs, like Lulu, it becomes clear that the issue isn’t temporary."

Lulu wasn’t interested in searching for explosives.
Even when motivated w food & play, she was clearly no longer enjoying herself. pic.twitter.com/puvhDk1tRX

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Lulu was no longer motivated to search for explosives and was "clearly not enjoying herself any longer" when motivated to do so with food and play.

"It's imperative that the dogs enjoy the job they’re doing," the CIA said.

Trainers made the "extremely difficult decision" to drop Lulu from the program for her physical and mental well-being, the CIA said.

Lulu's handler adopted her, so she now enjoys cushy work-free days that include playing with his children and sniffing out rabbits and squirrels in the backyard. She even has a new friend -- a fellow Labrador retriever -- to hang out with all day.

Lulu was adopted by her handler & now enjoys her days playing w his kids & a new friend, & sniffing out rabbits & squirrels in the backyard. pic.twitter.com/WOImM75P1D

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


"We’ll miss Lulu, but this was the right decision for her," the CIA said. "We wish her all the best in her new life."

We’ll miss Lulu, but it was right decision for her & we wish her all the best in her new life!https://t.co/nPZl6YWNKb pic.twitter.com/Mbcr9C7wUY

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

Lulu's handler is still on the search for an explosive detection K-9 partner, the CIA said.

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