After being demoted for “misgendering” a transgender child who used the girl’s locker room, ADF files a lawsuit.
A middle school coach in Vermont and his daughter have been sued by The Alliance Defending Freedom after the school suspended them for allegedly harassing and misgendering a transgender student who entered the girl’s locker room.
On behalf of Travis Allen and his daughter Blake Allen, who is 14 years old, the legal nonprofit filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Vermont on Thursday. According to the complaint, the two were punished by representatives of the Orange Southwest School District and Randolph Union High School for referring to the transgender student as a boy.
On October 21, school administrators informed Blake Allen that she bullied a student because of the student’s gender identification. She was given a suspension and instructed to write an apology letter to the pupil and take part in a “restorative justice circle.”
For identical reasons, Travis Allen, a middle school girls’ soccer coach, was suspended for the remainder of the season without pay.
Blake Allen’s punishment was lifted by the school the day after the group filed the case, according to ADF Senior Counsel Phil Sechler, who is the attorney for the father and daughter. He thinks that the ADF’s lawsuit caused the school to revoke the sentence.
The lawyer spoke with The Christian Post and said, “But yet, we hope the court reinstates Travis and his authority to coach at the institution. And [we hope the court] also makes it clear that you can voice your opinions on a matter of public concern and use the term “man” in the course of that debate without facing consequences.
On September 21, a 14-year-old male student who plays volleyball for the daughter’s team and identifies as a girl entered the locker room as the girls were getting ready. This is when the drama started. According to reports, Blake Allen got agitated and left the locker room.
Blake Allen brought up the event the following day in French class, telling a few other students that the trans-identified teammate is “actually a male” and “he does not belong in the girls’ locker room.”
As a result of a different student hearing the talk and reporting Allen to the office, the principal of the school took disciplinary action against her.
On September 23, a school representative called Allen’s parents to let them know that an investigation into whether her remarks constituted harassment and bullying had been launched after the school had received evidence that their daughter had “misgendered” another student.
The girls’ volleyball team was not permitted to use the locker room while the school completed the investigation. In an interview with WCAX-TV on September 28, Blake Allen discussed the situation and said she didn’t think she should be punished for expressing her views about not wanting to change close to a biological son.
Although the story with the student’s statements is no longer accessible, a copy of the report is included in the lawsuit.
The ADF lawsuit makes clear that Blake Allen was referring to a different incident, despite the outlet’s claim that the trans-identified student made an “inappropriate comment” while the ladies were changing.
The transgender student at issue in the latest ADF complaint allegedly made the statement while in the girls‘ locker room with two other females last year, when his “male instincts were kicking in.” ADF asserts that the school dropped the complaint when the girls reported the event to the co-principal.
The mother of the transgender youngster said in an earlier interview with VTDigger that her child had been bullied, and that’s why the school had opened an investigation. She claimed that the squad had been traveling together for weeks without any problems, so she disagreed that the girls’ volleyball team was uncomfortable with her child’s presence in the locker room.
The mother claimed that following the locker room incident, she and her family had experienced hostility on social media. She further claimed that it was “inaccurate” for WCAX to claim that her child made an “inappropriate comment” in the girls’ changing area.
The Orange Southwest Supervisory District’s Layne Millington also stated to the publication that the decision by the school to close the girls’ locker room was not made as a form of punishment. For the duration of the investigation, according to Millington, the locker rooms were closed for the students’ protection, and this “equally” applied to all members of the girls’ volleyball team.
The lawsuit claims that after Blake Allen’s interview with WCAX, the transgender student said in math class, “I am going to f***ing kill Blake Allen.” The student who overheard the comment and Blake Allen both reported it, but after an evaluation, the school decided the threat was low-risk.
On September 29, a lady claiming to be the mother of the transgender teenager claimed that her “daughter did not make any comments at all” after WCAX put the report on its Facebook page. Blake Allen was accused by the mother of fabricating the narrative to gain “attention.”
Travis Allen texted back in response, “Actually, your kid was in the locker room with my daughter and several other girls as they were getting ready. “They were raped while he got a free show.” Allen then inquired about the student’s mother’s comfort level with him watching her change.
Travis Allen was placed on indefinite leave without pay when the district director found that he had “misgendered” a student. The coach was demoted for his refusal to retract his comments in front of the public.
In Sechler’s opinion, Travis Allen’s response to the mother was “appropriate” given the circumstances of the conversation.
The lawyer stated, “He was standing up for his daughter.”
“Her valid worries about not having to change in front of a man and not having to observe a man change were disregarded. And he was voicing sympathy for those worries.
There has been a lot of discussion in recent years over rules adopted by school districts across the country that call for allowing transgender kids to use restrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.
The Florida Board of Education enacted a new rule earlier this month forcing public and charter schools to prohibit transgender students from accessing facilities without first informing parents and posting a notice online.
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