VA judge siding with transgender teen hits close to home for one Horry County parent

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A federal judge has sided with a transgender teenager who sued his school board for discrimination, denying the board's motion to dismiss the student's civil rights lawsuit.

The case happened in Norfolk, Va., where the former high school student, Gavin Grimm, has been fighting a battle for years.

It's a fight one Horry County parent said she's witnessed her son have to go through.

"It hits really close to home. This is a big win for us; we are super excited for him and so happy for him," said the mother, who wished to remain anonymous and identified as Lynn and her son as, "R."

When the two heard about the case out of Virginia on Wednesday, Lynn said if she could say anything to the Virginia teen, it would be, "Thank you."

Lynn said it must have been a long road for Grimm, so she admires him for following through with the lawsuit.

"What he did took a lot of courage and a lot of determination," Lynn said. "I respect him for sticking through it. I know the kind of threats he received because I got them too and I respect him for sticking to his guns and doing what was right."

Lynn explained her son, "R," was using the boys' bathroom since middle school and it wasn't until his senior year at Socastee High School that a teacher continued to write him up for it.

The teacher then checked records to see he was a female and eventually suspended him.

"It was just a handful of teachers and administrators who had a problem with him using the bathroom," Lynn said. "They wanted to dictate which bathroom he used. If the teacher hadn't had access to his records, none of this would have ever happened because no one would ever know."

Looking back, Lynn said she wishes she had done more.

"I've thought about trying to take the principal's job and I am still thinking about that, and wish I had," Lynn said. "He is the one allowing the teachers to discriminate against the students."

The federal judge's decision in Virginia is not leading to any changes in Horry County Schools.

For now, district spokesperson Lisa Bourcier said HCS will continue to work on a case-by-case basis in regards to transgender students and restrooms.

"It happens all the time. Transgender students have been using the bathroom they are comfortable with for decades, centuries probably, just nobody knew about it," Lynn said.

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