A Vermont school district settled a lawsuit with a student and her father who were suspended after voicing their opinions about a transgender athlete who reportedly watched the student and teammates change in a girls’ locker room, according to multiple reports.
The district settled the suit filed by Blake Allen, a student and volleyball player at Randolph Union High School, and her father, Travis Allen. Blake Allen was suspended from school for two days in October following an incident where a transgender student allegedly watched Blake and her teammates change in a locker room, the Daily Signal reported. Her father, Travis, was suspended from his middle school soccer coaching job for defending his daughter in a social media post, according to the Daily Signal. (RELATED: ‘You Might Lose Your Job’: Cycling Champ Who Lost To Trans Competitor Speaks Out About Being Silenced)
“The Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust made the decision concerning the payment in order to cap defense expenses in what would otherwise be years of litigation,” Layne Millington, superintendent of the Orange Southwest Supervisory District, told the White River Valley Herald. “The district has made no admission of wrongdoing. Our policies are unchanged and we will continue to comply with our policies and the law.”
Remember Blake Allen, one of the girls who spoke out against a biological male in their locker room? For their courage, Blake and her father were punished.
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) June 2, 2023
The school district will pay the father and daughter $125,000 and the suspensions will be removed from their records, according to the White River Valley Herald.
A local media outlet, WCAX-TV, later deleted an article and video from their website that reported on the controversial suspensions. Blake Allen was required to write a “reflective essay” about the incident and to participate in a “restorative circle,” the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represented the Allen family, said on their website.
“The settlement of Blake and Travis Allen’s case is a resounding victory for freedom of speech,” ADF Senior Counsel Phil Sechler told the Daily Signal.
Blake Allen allegedly said that the transgender student, who reportedly watched the female volleyball players change, was “literally a dude” when discussing the incident with fellow students. Her father later referred to the transgender student as a biological male in an online discussion with the student’s mother, who allegedly claimed the incident was made up.
“We are grateful that the school recognized it was wrong to suspend Blake from school and Travis from his coaching position simply for exercising their freedom of speech,” Sechler told the Herald. “No one should lose their job or get suspended from school for voicing their opinion or calling a male a male and we are glad to see this case resolved favorably, not only for Blake and Travis, but for all students and coaches to be able to speak freely and without fear of retaliation.”
Mid Vermont Christian School (MVCS) announced that they would forfeit their Feb. 21 basketball game against Long Trail School (LTS), due to the presence of a transgender girl on the LTS team. The Vermont Principals Association voted unanimously to ban MVCS from all state competitions, claiming they violated anti-discrimination policies, the New York Post reported.
Alliance Defending Freedom did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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