A fifteen-year-old girl named Blake Allen and her father, Travis Allen, were both punished after Blake was suspended from school last year when she said that she was uncomfortable that a biological male who identifies as a transgender female was allowed in the girl’s locker room.
The school claimed she was harassing the transgender student after she spoke about her unhappiness about the situation to a fellow classmate. Travis, a middle school soccer coach, was fired when he stood up for his daughter, with the school claiming he was “misgendering” the student.
After being punished by the school district for their stance on the issue, the Allens sued, taking both the superintendent of the Orange Southwest School District and the co-principals of Randolph Union High School to court, with the Alliance Defending Freedom providing legal services for them.
That lawsuit was just settled, according to the VT Digger. The settlement provides for a $125,000 payment to the Allens and their attorneys, reinstates Travis Allen as the middle school soccer coach, and scrubs the school records of any reference to Blake or Tavis Allen. Further, the settlement provides for the dismissal of the lawsuit “with prejudice,” meaning that either side cannot refile it in an attempt to relitigate the issue.
The Superintendent of the Orange Southwest Supervisory District, Layne Millington, said that “the district is pleased” it was able to resolve the lawsuit with a settlement early on in the legal process, and that “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.” Continuing, Millington stressed the point that the settlement provided that there was no “admission of wrongdoing” from the school district, and so its “policies are unchanged.”
On the other side, Phil Sechler, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom, which provided the legal services for the Allens, called the settlement a “resounding victory” on the freedom of speech issue. He said that the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Allens 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.”
Continuing, he said that “No one should lose their job or get suspended from school for voicing their opinion or calling a male a male.” He then added that they are glad to see the case resolved in favor of both the Allens and others who might find themselves in a similar position if they speak out about something that makes them uncomfortable or that they think is wrong.
Travis Allen made a similar claim in his written statement on the issue, saying, “This settlement was a huge victory for freedom of speech, not just for Blake and me, but for anyone who wants to voice their opinion on important topics.”
Elon responded to Riley Gaines, a consistent voice on the transgender athlete issue, calling it “incredibly unjust” that the Allens were punished for speaking out on the issue.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 3, 2023
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