A sign points the way to the bathrooms, July 16, 2002. 
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty

Virginia school board to appeal transgender bathroom ruling

The Gloucester County, Virginia, School Board says it will appeal this week’s ruling which said the board violated federal law when it barred schools from allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity.

The decision was a victory for a high school student, Gavin Grimm, who challenged the policy. Grimm, was born female but identifies as male, underwent hormone therapy, and legally changed his name.

The ruling came from a three-judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, finding that the board violated Title IX, the provision of federal law that bars sex discrimination. The board says it will appeal to the full appeals court.

RELATED: Appeals court rules in favor of transgender teen

“The Board understands that the claims were sent back to the district court for further consideration and that no injunction was granted by the court. After considering the opinions of the 4th Circuit panel, it is the school boards’ unanimous decision to file a petition for an en banc hearing with the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals,” read a board issued statement.

The decision is binding on the five states of the Fourth Circuit — Maryland, North and South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

While his school’s officials supported him and let him use the boys’ bathrooms, the school board later prevented the school from making that accommodation. That decision came after angry parents spoke out at two community meetings.

One person called him a “freak,” and several repeatedly referred to him as a girl or young lady.

California, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Washington all have enacted policies requiring schools to let transgender students to use the bathrooms that conform to their gender identity.

North Carolina’s legislature passed and the state’s governor signed a law last month, requiring transgender people to use the bathroom that correspondents to the sex they were born with.

Tuesday’s decision presumably blunts part of the force of the North Carolina law by prohibiting enforcement of the bathroom restriction in public schools. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory told reporters earlier this week that he is considering how his state should respond.

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com