A Vermont snowboard coach fired for saying that men and women are different has reached a favorable settlement after filing suit against his school district.

Coach David Bloch was terminated from his job as head coach for the snowboarding program at Woodstock Union High School on Feb. 9, 2023. Bloch had founded the program in 2011 and served as its head coach ever since.

The day prior, Coach Bloch’s team attended a competition where a male athlete identifying as a female competed against females. At this competition, “Two of his students discussed this situation, and Coach Bloch commented – outside the presence of the transgender-identified snowboarder – that, as a matter of biology, males and females are inherently different.”

Bloch is a practicing Roman Catholic. He believes that based on his faith – and scientific knowledge – there are only two sexes: male and female.

The next day, the coach was hauled into a meeting with the Woodstock Central Supervisory Union’s superintendent, who immediately terminated him. She also permanently barred him from any further coaching positions.

Bloch’s alleged crime?

According to the superintendent, the coach had “violated the district’s HBB (Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying) policy and Vermont Principals’ Association policy” by stating that men and women are different, and that those difference give men an advantage over women in sports.

After his termination, Coach Bloch filed a lawsuit against the Vermont Agency of Education, the Vermont Principals’ Association and Vermont Windsor Central Supervisory Union. Lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represented Bloch pro bono.

According to his lawyers, the superintendent’s decision to fire Coach Bloch for his speech violated his constitutional rights. “Coach Bloch not only suffered a loss of income and reputation, but he also was deprived of his constitutional rights to speak freely about his convictions,” ADF notes.

You can learn more about Bloch’s story below:

Thankfully, Coach Bloch’s attorneys have now reached a favorable settlement; state and school officials have agreed to pay $75,000 – almost 17 times the coach’s annual salary – for wrongfully terminating him. Both the Agency of Education and the school district have also “admitted that coach Bloch’s conversation did not violate the state-mandated Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying policy.”

“All Americans should be able to express their beliefs without fear of government punishment,” said ADF Legal Counsel Mathew Hoffmann, adding,

The school district fired him because he simply expressed his views that males and females are biologically different and questioned the appropriateness of a teenage male competing against teenage females in an athletic competition.

We’re pleased to favorably settle this case on behalf of Coach Bloch, and we’ll continue our work to ensure that the First Amendment protects all viewpoints, not just those favored by the government.

The favorable settlement for Coach Bloch in this case is welcome news. Apparently, the school district and superintendent needed a refresher in basic American citizenship.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states,

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances (emphasis added).

In 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, “It can hardly be argued that either students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Likewise – snowboarding coaches do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech at the ski lodge.

Congratulations to Coach Bloch on his legal victory. The only regret is that it was necessary in the first place.

The case is Bloch v. Bouchey.

Focus on the Family exists to help families, and that includes help navigating the issues of homosexuality and transgenderism. Focus offers a free, one-time counseling consultation with a licensed or pastoral counselor. To request a counseling consultation, call 1-855-771-HELP (4357) or fill out our Counseling Consultation Request Form.

Related articles and resources:

Counseling Consultation & Referrals

Transgender Resources

Maine Battles Over ‘Transgender’ Medical Procedures and Parental Rights

Addressing Gender Identity with Honesty and Compassion

The Journey Back to My True Identity

What is ‘Gender Identity’

Transgenderism and Minors: What Does the Research Really Show?

Do Not Fall for the ‘Affirm Them or They Will Die’ Lie

Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom.