Virginia school board votes against trans students bathroom rights

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A US school board has voted to ban trans students from using the appropriate toilets and changing rooms.

The Gloucester School Board in Virginia decided that all students should use the toilets of their “biological sex”, or a separate private toilet. The school board says the decision is necessary to balance the needs of all students.

School Board Chair George Burak said: “This issue is not about one student; rather, it’s about all our students. We as a Board are seeking to do what’s best for our district in an open, transparent manner.”

The issue arose due to a 15-year-old trans boy, Gavin Grimm, who was first told he should use the nurses’ room, but this was too far away from his classes. He was eventually allowed to use the boy’s bathroom and has continued to do so.

The ACLU says the decision is a step back for trans students. Director Rebecca Glenburg said: “We are deeply disappointed that the school board opted to discriminate against transgender students by prohibiting them from using appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms.

“Our school boards should be focused on making Virginia schools as inclusive and welcoming as possible. This new policy will do the opposite. Forcing transgender students to use segregated facilities not only violates federal law, but is also intensely stigmatizing.”