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.”

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Officials break ground on new park honoring the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombing

Officials break ground on new park honoring the youngest victim of the Boston Marathon bombingSeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) -- Officials broke ground in Boston Wednesday for a new park dedicated to Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Martin was 8 years old when he killed on April 15, 2013, as he watched the marathon from near the finish line with his family. His mother was gravely injured, and his sister, who was 7 at the time,
lost a leg.

Photos from Wednesday's ceremonial groundbreaking show children in hard hats using shovels to dig dirt. Martin's Park, located next to the Boston Children's Museum at the Smith Family Waterfront,
is expected to open in the fall of 2018, according to a press release from the office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker.

"This park will bring light & hope to that darkness, honoring his memory & allowing kids to be kids," Baker wrote on Twitter.

#MartinRichard lost his life to terror. This park will bring light & hope to that darkness, honoring his memory & allowing kids to be kids.

— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) August 16, 2017

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh wrote on Twitter that the park will remind its visitors of "hope, compassion & love."

"Martin's spirit will always live on in Boston & in Martin's Park," Walsh wrote.

This park reminds us of hope, compassion & love a young boy taught us all. Martin's spirit will always live on in Boston & in Martin's Park.

— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) August 16, 2017

Both Baker and Walsh spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, as well as Martin's family.

Martin's sister, Jane Richard, said she knows that her brother is happy that the community is coming together.

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