School district ordered to pay trans former student $4 million after barring him from male restroom

In a stunning victory for Missouri trans rights, a trans man has won over $4 million in damages following a discrimination case against a school district that refused to let him use the correct bathroom.

A Missouri Appeals Court ruled in favour of the former student, identified by the initials RMA, who sued the Blue Springs School District after it barred him from using the boys’ locker room.

Judge Anthony Gabbert ruled on Tuesday (4 June) that the school district’s excuse for excluding the student – that he had “female genitalia” – was no sufficient as the district “did not actually determine the nature of RMA’s genitalia.”

Gabbert also added that the district does not “speculate, inspect or otherwise inquire as to the genitalia of other male students,” which he said constitutes discrimination.

RMA was reportedly denied access to the boys’ restrooms and facilities after having successfully petitioned to have his legal gender changed in 2014.

The Court heard testimony from RMA’s doctor, who said she had been treating him since at least age nine and that he had been male for as long as she had known him.

Trans youth hold up a sign reading “you are loved” during a protest. (Getty)

The lawsuit was brought by RMA in October 2015 after accusing the defendants of denying him rightful access to the correct facilities “under the laws of the state of Missouri.”

“Defendants continue to deny [the plaintiff] access to the boys’ restrooms and locker rooms as of the filing of this petition.”

The suit further added that, while participating in boys’ athletics and competing in the school’s football and track teams, he was forced to use a “separate, single person, unisex bathroom outside of the boys’ locker room because Defendants refused to give him access.”

He chose to “not participate in fall sports for the 2014-2015 school year” as a result of being denied access to the correct facilities.

He was initially awarded the $4 million sum in 2021 after a jury found he had been discriminated against by the Kansas City school district.

The district took the case to appeals, however, after asking for a “judgement notwithstanding the verdict,” meaning that a court judge can override a Jury’s decision.

It argued that RMA only successfully proved discrimination on the basis of “his female genitalia” rather than sex discrimination.

A subsequent trial saw a court judge side with the school district. This decision was reversed by Tuesday’s verdict, however, which agreed with the jury’s initial decision.

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