ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The mother of a St. Louis high school student is suing after her son did not make the varsity soccer team and was not allowed to play on the junior varsity team, according to KTVI.
The woman’s attorney said the issue in the case, filed in federal court, is age and sex discrimination. Her son is only identified as “John Doe” in court papers.
Friday morning, Ladue High School officials said if a junior does not make the varsity team, the boy cannot play again on the junior varsity team. The school said this is to give younger students a chance to develop their skills so that they will be prepared to try out for varsity.
The student’s mother says her son, a junior who already played on the junior varsity team, is good enough play again on the same team and should be allowed to do so, despite not making the varsity squad.
The coach sent the family an email that said their son was in consideration when it came to picking varsity team members. He wrote that the boy has holes in his technical ability and decision-making.
The family appealed the coach’s ruling to the superintendent, who decided the family’s complaint was unsubstantiated.
The mother’s suit also claims her son is the victim of age and gender discrimination because she says the rules are different for the girls’ soccer team.
The coach’s testimony indicated the seven juniors cut from the varsity team were not good enough to play with on the junior varsity team. He said the reason he said nice things about John Doe was to build his self-esteem and not punch him in the gut after being cut from the varsity team.
The lawyer for John Doe also introduced documents that he said show player performance ratings given by coaches that rank John Doe above other boys who made varsity.
Also in courtroom testimony, it was revealed that Ladue does not have a policy keeping juniors from playing junior varsity sports. It depends on how many students try out for a certain sport and how many spots are on the team. The coach said this applied to both the girls’ and boys’ team.
The judge did not decide Friday whether John Doe will be put on the junior varsity team as his mother wants. The judge plans to decide Monday.