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Blue Springs School District owes over $4 million in damages to transgender student

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Posted at 11:20 AM, Dec 14, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A jury in Jackson County has found that the Blue Springs R-IV School District owes more than $4 million in damages for sex discrimination against a transgender student.

On Monday, the jury found that the district was liable for sex discrimination after denying a male transgender student use of the boys' restrooms and locker rooms.

The student had legally changed his named in 2010 and had successfully petitioned the Jackson County Circuit Court in 2014 to amend his birth certificate to reflect his gender and new name.

The student was denied use of the boys' restrooms and locker rooms at both Delta Woods Middle School and the Freshman Center.

"Defendants again denied [the plaintiff] access to the boys' restrooms and locker rooms even though he is recognized as a boy under the laws of the state of Missouri," the court document said. "Defendants continue to deny [the plaintiff] access to the boys' restrooms and locker rooms as of the filing of this Petition."

The student participated in boys' P.E. and athletics in middle school, including the eighth grade boys' football team and track team, and he had to use a "separate, single person, unisex bathroom outside the boys' locker room because Defendants refused to give him access to the boys' locker rooms," according to court documents.

The student "chose not to participate in fall sports for the 2014-2015 school year at the Freshman Center due to being denied access to the boys' locker room and restrooms," the document said.

The document goes on to say that the student felt singled out and inferior to other boys in the school because of his exclusion.

The lawsuit was filed in 2015 after the defendant filed a charge of discrimination with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights in late 2014.

The lawsuit filed for the student states that the district's reason for denying him access was because he was transgender and "is alleged to have female genitalia."

"Upon information and belief, Defendants do not speculate, inspect, or otherwise inquire as to the genitalia of other male students," the lawsuit said. "Defendants have discriminated and continue to discriminate against Plaintiff R.M.A. based on his sex."

The Blue Springs School District issued a statement to KSHB 41 News through a spokesperson.

"The district disagrees with the verdict and will be seeking appropriate relief from the trial court and court of appeals if necessary," it read.