School awards father, daughter $125,000 after they were punished for speaking out against trans student

A Vermont father and daughter who were punished for speaking out against a transgender student have since won a settlement with their school district for $125,000.

The only catch is that the original case, Allen v. Millington, has been dismissed with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled, according to The White River Herald.

Also, the language of the settlement reportedly makes it clear that it “is not in any way to be construed as admission of liability or wrongdoing.”

Still, a victory is a victory, and father Travis Allen and his daughter Blake Allen have definitely earned theirs.

The suit stems from an incident that occurred in the fall when a “transgender girl” at Randolph Union High School used the girls’ locker room, which was allowed under school/district rules and state policy as well.

The student’s appearance in the locker room reportedly triggered discomfort among the girls. What happened next remains unclear.

“Some allege [he] stood leering at girls in various states of undress and refused to leave. Others say [he] stopped and stood because [he] was unsure what to do, but quickly left when [he] was yelled at,” the Herald notes.

Ultimately, the school sided with the “transgender girl” student on the issue. In response, Travis and Blake said some things — and for this, they were punished.

Speaking on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” at the time, Blake said she was “suspended because I voiced my opinion that a male shouldn’t be in the women’s locker room.”

According to the Herald, she was also suspended for correctly noting that the so-called “transgender girl” was “literally a dude.”

Travis was likewise suspended from his job as a girls’ soccer coach, albeit for a slightly different reason.

“I made a social media post and referred to the male student as a male, and I was punished because I misgendered him,” he explained on Fox News.

According to the Herald, Travis volunteered to remove the comment but school officials also demanded an apology. This, however, was something he refused to do. In response, this time the father-daughter duo filed suit via the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian law firm.

At the time, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Philip A. Sechler noted in a statement that “we will be asking the court to swiftly halt the school’s blatant violation of Blake and Travis‘ free speech rights.”

“A father and his daughter voicing concerns about a school allowing a male student to enter a high school locker room where girls are undressing is entirely expected and appropriate, regardless of whether the male identifies as female,” Sechler said.

“Yet for expressing such a common-sense view and noting the fact that the student is a male, Vermont school officials punished Blake and Travis in an effort to silence their views,” he added.

The school district was not pleased by the suit. In a statement of their own, they called the suit “truly unfortunate” and argued that the district “follows Vermont law and guidance from the Vermont Agency of Education.”

“RUHS and Orange Southwest Unified Union School District are proud to support our trans students and to enforce our legally mandated policies. The plaintiffs apparently argue that demeaning behaviors, ridicule, and unkindness directed at RUHS students are protected free speech. We disagree,” the statement continued.

The district also reportedly said that the “facts asserted by plaintiffs are not accurate. We expect to prevail in the litigation.”

The district was clearly wrong.

The settlement that’s since been reached “calls for the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust to pay the Allens’ counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, $125,000, of which, Travis Allen will receive $35,000 and Blake Allen will receive $5,000. The remaining $85,000 will cover attorney’s fees and costs,” according to the Herald.

“The settlement will also reinstate Travis Allen as head coach of the Randolph Union Middle School girls soccer team. Allen will be required to follow all OSSD rules and policies when he returns to the position for the 2023 season. His personnel record will be scrubbed of any reference to the suspension,” the Herald notes.

And lastly, the settlement calls for all allegations of harassment/bullying to be removed from Blake’s record.

“This case has brought our family closer together, and Jessica and I are proud of Blake for standing up for free speech and women’s privacy under difficult circumstances,” Travis said in a written statement following the duo’s win this week.

“That’s why, when Blake’s privacy was threatened, I felt compelled to speak out. Likewise, our children are proud of us for taking a stand for what’s right,” he added.

Riley Gaines, a female athlete who has continued to speak out against transgender competitors in women’s sports, celebrated the decision on Twitter.


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