A Vermont snowboard coach has reached a settlement after he was fired by his school district for saying males and females are biologically distinct, and those differences generally give males an advantage over females in sports.
David Bloch has served as head coach for the snowboarding program at Woodstock Union High School in Vermont since its inception; he founded the program in 2011.
On Feb. 8, 2023, Coach Bloch and his team attended a competition where a male – who identifies as a female – competed against females. Two of Bloch’s students were discussing the situation, when Coach Bloch commented that biologically, males and females are inherently different. The coach did not make the comment in the presence of the “transgender” athlete.
The very next day, the Woodstock Central Supervisory Union superintendent fired Coach Bloch. She summoned him to her office and handed him a notice of “immediate termination.” She also permanently barred him from serving in any coaching positions. The superintendent alleged that Coach Bloch had violated the district’s HBB (Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying) policy and the Vermont Principals’ Association policy for stating this biological fact.
Bloch is a Roman Catholic who believes in a biblical sexual ethic, and that men and women are created by God immutably as male or female.
Because of his termination, Bloch has suffered a loss of income, a job he loved, his reputation and his First Amendment right to free speech was violated, according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nonprofit legal organization representing Bloch pro bono.
You can learn more about Bloch’s story below:
Following his termination, ADF filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont on Bloch’s behalf. Bloch requested the court protect his First Amendment right to free speech and order his reinstatement as the snowboarding coach.
U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, denied Bloch’s request. Bloch then notified the judge that he would appeal her ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Thankfully, that appeal is no longer necessary. On Jan. 25, 2024, Bloch agreed to a full settlement of the case.
“Public schools can’t fire employees for respectful speech on a matter of public concern,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matthew Hoffman after the settlement.
“Dave, like every other person, is protected under the First Amendment to respectfully share his personal beliefs, and the Vermont Agency of Education even acknowledged that Dave simply sharing his perspective did not violate policy or Vermont law.”
As a result of Dave’s courage in filing suit, the truth is clear – everyone has the right to express his or her opinion, especially on matters of public concern.
No employee should lose their job for stating the fact that men and women are different. The First Amendment’s free speech clause – and common sense – demand nothing less.
The Daily Citizen will keep you updated of any further developments in this case.
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.
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Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom.