Mom sues when son doesn’t make varsity team

Posted at 12:57 PM, Oct 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-02 15:15:05-04

ST. LOUIS (KTVI/CNN) - The mother of a Missouri teen is suing her son’s school in federal court, claiming he was the target of age and sex discrimination.

He was rejected from the varsity and junior varsity soccer teams.

If a student at Ladue Watkins High School is a junior and doesn't make the boys varsity team, they cannot play again on the junior varsity team.

The school said the rule allows freshmen and sophomores a chance to develop their skills, so that in later years they will be prepared to try out for varsity.

The mother of an unnamed Ladue junior who did not make the varsity cut does not think that's fair. She believes her son, who already played on the JV team, is good enough play JV again.

"I think if the judge follows the law and looks at the evidence of you know 'Jon Doe's' skills, we have a decent chance," said Paul Maddock, the student's lawyer

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 decision making on the field. The family appealed the coach's ruling to the superintendent, who decided the complaint was unsubstantiated.

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

It came out in testimony from the coach that the seven juniors cut from the varsity and JV team did not measure up to the other kids on the JV team. And the reason the coach said nice things to the student was to build up his self-esteem, not punch him when he's down.

"We always focus on the positives, encourage our kids to keep working and be a part of getting better though out their high school career," said Nick Gianino, Ladue High activities director.

The judge is expected to decide Monday if the student will be placed on the JV team.

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