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Vermont school board pays family punished for speaking against biological male in girl's locker room

The Alliance Defending Freedom called the decision a "resounding victory for freedom of speech."

Published: June 4, 2023 12:20pm

Updated: June 4, 2023 12:21pm

A Vermont school district reached a settlement with a local family after punishing a student and her father for speaking out against a biological male who used the girl's locker room. 

The Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust will pay $125,000 in damages and attorneys fees under the settlement to Travis Allen and Jessica Allen on behalf of their daughter, Blake Allen, as well as their attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal nonprofit.

The settlement will also reinstate father Travis Allen as the middle school soccer coach and remove any school disciplinary records against him and his daughter Blake, according to The Daily Signal on Thursday.

The Orange Southwest School District Board and officials named in the lawsuit are also required under the settlement to remove any online content posted by the school related to the locker room issue and to take down bulletin boards at Randolph Union Middle and High School containing the message of "love and support" to the transgender student.

The Alliance Defending Freedom celebrated the court's decision. 

"The settlement of Blake and Travis Allen’s case is a resounding victory for freedom of speech," Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Phil Sechler said. "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."

The Allens filed a lawsuit in October, arguing at the time that they "were punished for expressing their view" on "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 school had suspended Travis Allen without pay after saying he "misgendered" the student while the school said Blake Allen participated in "harassment" and "bullying" of the student.

Madeleine Hubbard is an international correspondent for Just the News. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

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