Missouri School District Ordered To Cough Up $4 Million In Transgender Bathroom Case
In a controversial decision one Missouri school district has been ordered to pay a former student $4 million after a jury ruled that the district discriminated against a transgender student by not allowing him to use the boys’ restroom.
A jury in Jackson County, Missouri ruled on Monday that Blue Springs School District discriminated against a transgender student by not allowing him to use the boys’ restroom or locker rooms at several schools, including the middle school and Freshman Center.
In 2014, the family of RJ Appleberry, the student who had transitioned from female to male at the age of nine years old, filed a lawsuit against the Blue Springs School District after the district banned him from using the boys’ restroom and locker room.
According to the lawsuit, even though the child’s birth certificate was amended in 2014 from female to male, continued to be denied access to the boys’ bathroom and locker rooms at several schools, including Delta Woods Middle School and the Freshman Center.
The jury awarded $175,000 to the former student in compensatory damages in addition to $4 million in punitive damages, the plaintiff has further requested for the school district to cover the attorney fees as well.
In 2019, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that lawsuits claiming discrimination based on sex and sex stereotypes are legally allowed, which paved the way for the lawsuit against Blue Springs School District to continue after being dismissed by a Jackson County circuit judge.
Attorneys for the student said that this case was the first of its kind to be taken up by the Missouri Supreme Court.
“As it covers sex discrimination, that does include the possibility for the person to prove that they were discriminated against based on their sex because of gender stereotyping and gender stereotypes,” Madeline Johnson said, “which is what we alleged in the case RMA vs Blue Springs R-4 School District.”