A Vermont school district will reinstate a middle school soccer coach who was suspended for misgendering a transgender female athlete. Travis Allen, the middle school girls’ soccer coach at the Randolph Union Middle/High School, and his daughter Blake Allen, who was also suspended, sued the Orange Southwest School District, claiming their First Amendment rights were violated. The lawsuit claims that both were punished for expressing their views on whether the transgender student should be permitted to use the girls’ locker room. The transgender student, who was on the same volleyball team as Blake Allen, entered the girls’ locker room while the athletes were changing on Sept. 21, 2022, and multiple girls, including Blake, became upset, the lawsuit stated. Travis Allen was suspended without pay for the rest of the season in Oct. 2022, for misgendering the student in a Facebook post. Blake was suspended for several days based on comments she made about the situation to a few students in a class. School officials found her comments constituted “harassment on the basis of gender identity.” The settlement was reached in April and the lawsuit was dismissed on May 23.
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