By DAVID SULLIVANAPAAssociated PressNew York City (AP)Federal prosecutors say a New York City school district in the midst of a transgender bathroom debate violated the civil rights of a boy by denying him the right to use the boys bathroom.
A federal lawsuit filed Thursday accuses District 2 of violating the U.S. Civil Rights Act by not allowing Gavin Grimm to use his male birth certificate when using the girls’ restroom.
The suit seeks unspecified damages.
In a written statement Friday, the district said it had “no comment” and would respond in court.
Grimm, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound seventh-grader, filed the lawsuit against the district in June.
The lawsuit also alleges the school district is violating the rights of parents who are concerned about the boy’s safety.
In December, the school board passed a resolution that the district would “fully support Gavin Grimm’s constitutional right to freely use the restrooms and locker rooms that match his gender identity.”
The resolution was approved unanimously and took effect Jan. 2.
The district has since taken a number of steps, including sending the student to an outside school to learn and implement gender-neutral bathrooms, the suit says.
Gimmes parents say the district’s actions violate his rights under the U,s Civil Rights Acts, which prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
They also say the policy violates the U.,s Fair Housing Act.
Gemm’s lawsuit alleges that the school did not provide a way for students to be informed about the policy or the policy’s legality.
The policy was developed in a meeting of the school’s board of education and the student’s parents, and the lawsuit says the district did not ask students about their beliefs or their ability to support Gavin, who identifies as a girl.
Gilliams parents say they contacted school officials multiple times after the policy was announced, but the district told them Gavin could use the girls bathroom.
In one email, a school district official told a parent that “inappropriate use of the facilities will not be tolerated.”
The lawsuit says Gavin is being bullied by other students and other students in the district and has been ostracized for expressing his beliefs.
Ginny Grimm, who is Gavin’s mother, says her son has been bullied and harassed since Gavin’s birth and she’s worried about his safety.
She said she’s been following news reports about the incident, but she didn’t know about the lawsuit until she read the New York Post article and learned about the claims.
Germans parents are seeking class-action status and have asked for a federal judge to hear their case.