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A Missouri school district was ordered to pay a transgender student $4 million after refusing to let him use the boys’ bathrooms or locker room

A Missouri school district was ordered to pay a transgender student $4 million after refusing to let him use the boys’ bathrooms or locker room..  A Jackson County, Missouri, jury has ruled that a school district in the state must pay a transgender former student $4 million for discriminating against him on the basis of sex.

A Missouri school district was ordered to pay a transgender student $4 million after refusing to let him use the boys' bathrooms or locker room
A Missouri school district was ordered to pay a transgender student $4 million after refusing to let him use the boys’ bathrooms or locker room—-

According to court documents seen by the Associated Press, the jury said in a ruling last week that Blue Springs School District discriminated against former student RJ Appleberry by not allowing him to use the boys’ bathrooms or locker rooms in the school district’s middle school or Freshman Center.

Appleberry transitioned from female to male in 2010 according to court documents seen by AP. Court records seen by Insider show the student legally changed his name and gender on his birth certificate in 2014.

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The student’s mother, Rachelle Appleberry, repeatedly asked the school district to allow her son to use the male restrooms after he initially transitioned in fourth grade and again after he legally transitioned in 2014, but her requests were denied, according to court documents seen by the Kansas City Star.

The school district argued he could not use the same bathroom and locker rooms as other boys because he still had female genitalia, court filings said, according to the Kansas City Star.

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And instead, Appleberry had to use a “separate, single person, unisex bathroom outside the boys’ locker room because Defendants refused to give him access to the boys’ locker rooms,” the court documents seen by to local NBC News outlet KSHB said.

The Appleberrys filed a lawsuit against Blue Springs School District in 2014.

While the case was thrown out in 2016 after the school district’s attorneys argued that the Missouri Human Rights Act did not protect gender identity, the case was appealed and brought to a jury trial in December of this year, according to The Hill.

“We are all excited and very happy with the outcome. We are excited that it was a 12-0 unanimous decision from the jury in our favor,” The Appleberry Family’s attorney, Mary Madeline Johnson, told Insider.

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In addition to the $4 million in punitive damages, the jury ruled Appleberry receive $175,000 in compensatory damages, according to the Associated Press.

“The district disagrees with the verdict and will be seeking appropriate relief from the trial court and court of appeals if necessary,” said Katie Woolf, a spokeswoman for the Blue Springs School District, in a statement following the verdict obtained by The Kansas City Star.

 

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