A Missouri high school junior, identified only as John Doe, tried out for the varsity soccer team like many of his classmates at Ladue Horton Watkins High School.
He already played on the junior varsity team and hoped to make it to the next level. But like six other boys, he was cut from the team, KTVI reports.
The student tried to get back on the J.V. team but was told that he wasn’t allowed. The school wanted to leave positions open to allow underclassmen an opportunity to play on the team.
It was a decision that has resulted in a lawsuit against the school.
On Wednesday, the boy’s mother filed a federal lawsuit claiming that her son was discriminated against.
A lawyer for the family, Paul Maddock, told the New York Post that the mother is suing over age and sex discrimination because she feels the rules are different for the girl’s soccer team:
“Female juniors get to play on the female junior varsity team, but male juniors don’t get to play on the male junior varsity.”
However, the school confirmed there’s no rule against juniors playing on the J.V. team. The coach said the student was cut because he was lacking abilities.
In an email, Coach Dave Aronberg told the family:
[John] was right on the bubble of making the team this year and has some impressive attributes. However, there were a few holes in his game including technical ability and game decision making that put him behind a number of kids.
In court, the family claimed that Doe’s performance ratings were higher than some of the students who made varsity.
Though the soccer season is already halfway over, the mom said she wants to correct the “irreparable harm” caused to her son, Yahoo Lifestyle reports.
On Monday, a judge denied the mother’s request for a restraining order to put her son on the J.V. team, though the case is still pending.