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Story highlights

A federal appeals court reverses a district court's decision to dismiss Gavin Grimm's Title IX claim

Grimm, a 16-year-old transgender student, said his school prevented him from using the boys' bathroom

The appellate court's decision sets a precedent for students who might challenge North Carolina's law

(CNN) —  

A Virginia transgender teen won a battle against his school board for the right to use the boys’ bathroom, a potential game changer in the national debate over Title IX and gender identity.

A federal appeals court ruled in favor of 16-year-old Gavin Grimm, reversing a lower district court’s decision. Grimm claimed the Gloucester County School Board violated Title IX, a law banning sex discrimination in schools, when the board prevented him from using boys’ restrooms.

“The ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit marks the first time a federal appeals court has determined that Title IX protects the rights of transgender students to use sex-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity,” the American Civil Liberties Union said.

01:35 - Source: CNN
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Incidentally, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals also covers North Carolina. That means Grimm’s victory sets a precedent for students who might challenge North Carolina’s new law prohibiting transgender people from using public restrooms for the gender they identify with.