The Blue Springs School District must pay more than $4 million in damages to a transgender student after it did not allow the biologically female student to use the boys’ restrooms and locker rooms.
A jury ruled Monday that the district was liable for sex discrimination against the student, who had received a legal name change in 2010 and had received a new, amended birth certificate to reflect a new name and new gender in 2014. The student was not allowed to use the boys’ restrooms and locker rooms at Delta Woods Middle School and the Freshman Center, according to KSHB 41 News. The school is located in Lee’s Summit.
“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,” a court document read. “Defendants continue to deny [the plaintiff] access to the boys’ restrooms and locker rooms as of the filing of this Petition.”
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While the student participated in boys’ P.E. and athletics in middle school, he was required 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,” the court documents said.
The settlement comes as part of a 2015 lawsuit. The student first filed a charge of discrimination with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights in 2014, according to the report. 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.”
A spokesperson for the school district said the district “disagrees with the verdict and will be seeking appropriate relief from the trial court and court of appeals if necessary.”
Blue Springs is just one of thousands of school districts nationwide attempting to protect the privacy of students, and in many cases, the safety of female students by not allowing biological male and females to switch lockerroom. This fall it was revealed a female student in Virginia was raped by a biologically male student who identified as female. He was transferred to another school and raped another female student before the incident was revealed publicly. The school board, which was attempting to make bathrooms and locker rooms “gender-neutral” had kept the incidents private and not reported the rapes to the police.
The decision comes months after the Biden Education Department announced that it would expand the definition of the federal civil-rights statute banning sex discrimination in federally funded education programs to include gender identity amid a national debate over whether biological males should be allowed to compete in girls’ sports.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice