Ladue Horton Watkins High School in St. Louis was recently hit with a lawsuit by an irate mother. Her complaint? Her son was cut from the junior varsity soccer team.
Lack of soccer skill, or age discrimination?
The woman, referred to only as “Jane Doe” in the court papers, filed the lawsuit on Sep. 26th, alleging that the school’s refusal to let him join the team was a form of age discrimination.
Her son, a junior at the school, had been on the junior varsity team in his freshman and sophomore years. When he made it to his third year of high school, he tried out for the school’s varsity team, meant for juniors and seniors, but did not make the cut.
The unkindest cut of all
The boy tried to get back into the junior varsity team after he was cut from the team meant for his own age group. School policy, however, states that only freshmen and sophomores are allowed to play on the younger team, and so the boy’s request was denied.
The parents believe that this amounts to age discrimination, arguing that their son should be allowed to play on the junior team no matter how old he is. They also accused the school of sex discrimination on the basis that the age limits aren’t as strictly enforced for the girls’ teams.
The lawsuit didn’t make it very far. Five days after it was filed, Judge John A. Ross declared that he would not force the school to put the boy on the team.
In his memorandum, the judge said that the parents’ “advocacy on behalf of their son is admirable”; however, he wrote: “the court does not believe that John Doe’s case warrants its involvement.”
More to the story
Dave & Dujanovic weighed in on this story on KSL Newsradio and asked the question: is this really as crazy as it seems? If you missed the show, you can still hear what they had to say commercial-free on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.
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