A Vermont school district that disciplined a soccer coach and his daughter for speaking out against a biological male being in the girls' locker room has reached a $125,000 settlement with the family in a federal lawsuit.
The settlement also compels the Orange Southwest School District in Randolph to reinstate Travis Allen as middle school soccer coach and scrub any records of discipline against Allen and his daughter Blake from school records, reported The Lion, a Christian news outlet.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian conservative legal group, 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," Phil Sechler, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom, told The Daily Signal on Thursday.
"Calling a male a male shouldn't have cost Travis his job and gotten Blake 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."
The Allens filed the lawsuit in October, claiming 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."
"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," said the lawsuit, according to 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."
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