Who would have thought, even 10 or 20 years ago, that a father and a daughter who objected to a male student in a public school girls locker room would be the ones punished by the school, rather than the trespassing male who violated the girls’ privacy?
But that’s exactly what happened at Randolph Union High School in Randolph, Vermont in September when a biologically male student who identifies as “transgender” and plays on the girls volleyball team entered the girls locker room where the rest of the team’s girls were partially undressed, and refused to leave when asked by those girls.
When one of the girls, a 14-year-old named Blake Allen, later explained her objection to the locker room invasion by explaining that the boy “literally is a dude,” the school suspended her for “misgendering” the male student – who Blake was apparently supposed to refer to with female pronouns – and instituted forms of punishment designed to indoctrinate her with the Left’s current gender identity orthodoxy.
Blake’s father, Travis Allen, also happens to be the middle school soccer coach for the same school district. When he defended his daughter on a local news station’s Facebook page and referred to the “transgender” student as a boy, the school district suspended Travis from his soccer duties without pay for the rest of the season.
Now father and daughter are fighting back, and, with the help of attorneys from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), are suing school officials in federal court, alleging that the school district’s punishment of father and daughter amounts to a violation of their First Amendment freedom of speech.
In their Complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont, the Allens claim the high school and school district – the Orange Southwest District Board – are engaging in “viewpoint discrimination.”
“But [the school district] Defendants are state actors and violate the First Amendment when they attempt to dictate what may be said on matters of public concern. And they cannot discriminate against speech on the basis of its viewpoint,” the Allens’ attorneys assert in the lawsuit. “Yet, that is exactly what happened here. Defendants punished Travis and Blake for saying that a male is a male, as a matter of sex and biology, regardless of the gender identity that the male has assumed.”
ADF attorneys label the school and school district’s actions a “blatant violation” of the Allens’ 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,” ADF Senior Counsel Philip A. Sechler said in a press release.
“Yet for expressing such a commonsense 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. The First Amendment protects everyone’s right to freely share their beliefs, and we will be asking the court to swiftly halt the school’s blatant violation of Blake and Travis’ free speech rights.”
The lawsuit provides a good opportunity for the federal courts to put an end to government coercion of speech in order to force a radical ideology onto children and their parents. Truth is truth, not what the government says is “truth.”
Not only can’t the government be the determiner of what “truth” is, it cannot even coerce opinions. It simply cannot compel you to believe something you don’t, nor to say something you don’t agree with.
Males cannot be females, and vice versa, and the government’s attempt to punish speakers for saying so is forbidden by the First Amendment.
The case is Allen v. Millington.
Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom.