A Vermont soccer coach who was dismissed for speaking out against a biological male being in the girls’ locker room has reached a settlement with the school district. The coach and his daughter were both disciplined after allegedly “misgendering” a male student who identifies with the female gender.
Travis Allen of the Orange Southwest School District in Randolph was awarded $125,000 as part of the settlement. In addition, the school district was ordered to reinstate Travis as middle school soccer coach, and any records of discipline against him and his daughter Blake were ordered deleted from school records, according to Christian news outlet The Lion.
Following the lawsuit, state actors Superintendent Layne Millington, co-principals Lisa Floyd and Caty Sutton, and the Orange Southwest School District Board, who punished Allen for saying there was a male in the female change room, were determined to have “violate[d] the First Amendment” by attempting to dictate speech regarding “what may be said on matters of public concern,” The Daily Signal reported.
But according to the filing, this is precisely what occurred in this instance.
“Defendants punished Travis and Blake for saying that a male is a male, as a matter of sex and biology, regardless of the gender identity that the male has assumed,” the filing states.
The incident was first reported by The Daily Signal some eight months ago, when it reported that Coach Allen was suspended following the alleged misgendering of a male student in the girls’ locker room.
The suspension came after first reports emerged about Blake’s discomfort at a biological male using her locker room while she was changing.
The concerns were echoed by a number of Blake’s fellow female students. The girls told The Daily Signal that they asked the student to leave, but said he didn’t immediately comply with the request. The male student then stood in the corner observing them as they were getting changed, causing them serious discomfort.
In an interview with The Daily Signal on May 31, Christian conservative legal group “The Alliance Defending Freedom” hailed the settlement as a resounding victory for the family.
“The settlement of Blake and Travis Allen’s case is a resounding victory for freedom of speech,” said Phil Sechler, senior counsel at the group.
Sechler went on to say that calling a male a male should have not resulted in Travis losing his job and Blake getting kicked out of school.
“We are very glad that the school agreed to do the right thing by giving Travis his coaching job back and dropping the discipline against Blake. Everyone has the right to speak freely, and we are grateful that this settlement further protects that right,” he added.
The lawsuit was filed last October. In it, the Allens stated they “were punished for expressing their view on a matter of profound public concern: whether a teenage male who ‘identifies’ as female should be permitted to change in a girls’ locker room, regardless of the discomfort experienced by the girls in that room.”
The lawsuit further states that “in objecting to a male being in the room while the girls are changing, Travis and Blake each made comments underscoring that the trans-identifying student is in fact a male, including by using male pronouns,” as reported by The Daily Signal.
“Indeed, their view of the student’s maleness was foundational to their opinions on appropriate use of the locker room, yet, their remarks were too much for defendants’ transgender orthodoxy—Travis was deemed to have ‘misgendered’ the student, while Blake was found guilty of ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying’ — so defendants disciplined both of them,” the lawsuit concludes, as cited by Newsmax.