Mother files federal lawsuit after son doesn’t make varsity soccer team

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ST. LOUIS, MO — The mother of a Ladue High School student took her case to the federal courthouse after her son, called John Doe in legal documents, did not make the varsity soccer team and was not allowed to play on the J.V. team.

The woman’s attorney said the issue is age and sex discrimination. Friday morning Ladue 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 allow lower grade students a chance to develop their skills, so they will be prepared to try out for varsity.

The mother of a Ladue junior who did not make the varsity cut does not think that’s fair. She believes her son is good enough to play again on the JV team.

The coach sent the family an email that said their son was on the bubble when it came to picking varsity team members. He wrote the boy has holes in his technical ability and game decision making.

The family appealed the coach’s ruling to the superintendent who decided the family’s complaint was unsubstantiated.

The mother’s suit claims her son is the victim of age and gender discrimination because she says the rules are different for the girls’ soccer team.

In the courtroom testimony from the coach indicated the seven juniors cut from the varsity team were not good enough to play with on the JV 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 players performance ratings given by coaches show that John Doe is better than some of the boys who made varsity.

Also in courtroom testimony, it was revealed that Ladue does not have a policy keeping juniors from playing JV sports. It depends on how many kids go out for a certain sport and how many spots are on the team. The coach said this applied to both the girls team and the boys team.

The judge did not decide today if John Doe will be put on the junior varsity team as his mother wants. The judge plans to decide on Monday.

The lawyer for John Doe said the boy wanted to take this case to the federal courthouse, and he wants to play soccer.



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