A devout Christian snowboarding coach from Vermont has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that his free-speech rights were violated when he was unceremoniously fired for sharing his views on transgender athletes.
David Bloch, who founded the Woodstock Union High School snowboarding team and had served as its head coach for more than a decade, lost his job in early February, a day after having a three-minute discussion with some of his athletes, during which he said that biological males have a physical advantage over female-born athletes.
According to Bloch’s 31-page complaint, filed Monday in the US District Court for the District of Vermont and obtained by The Post, Bloch made his remarks after overhearing two snowboarders on his team talking about a male-to-female trans athlete from another school who was competing against girls.
“Bloch joined the conversation to comment that people express themselves differently and that there can be masculine women and feminine men,” according to a statement from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) — a right-wing Christian legal advocacy group representing Bloch in the lawsuit.
“He also affirmed that as a matter of biology, males and females have different DNA, which causes males to develop differently from females and have different physical characteristics, and that those biological differences give males an advantage in athletic competitions,” ADF continued.
The transgender student was not present during that discussion, and at no point did Bloch refer to the athlete by name.
The exchange was said to have been “respectful,” and the two snowboarding teams went on to complete without incident, according to the statement.
But the following day, on Feb. 9, Windsor Central Supervisory Union Superintendent Sherry Sousa summoned Bloch to her office and angrily handed him a pink slip — while admitting that the investigation into his comments to the students was not yet complete.
The notice of immediate termination accused the veteran coach of violating the school board’s harassment, hazing and bullying policy by referring to a student “in a manner that questioned the legitimacy and appropriateness of the student competing on the girls’ team to members of the WUHS snowboard team,” according to the court filing.
Souse accused Bloch of using “disparaging names” that created “an objectively offensive environment and constituted harassment based on gender identity.” The notice also said Bloch will be banned from all future coaching positions within the school district.
ADF stated that Bloch is a practicing Roman Catholic “who believes that God created males and females with immutable sex, and that, based on scientific evidence, there are only two sexes, male and female and that sex is determined by a person’s chromosomes.”
Bloch’s legal team argued in the lawsuit that his First Amendment rights had been violated.
“For more than a decade, Dave has led the Woodstock Union snowboarding program to enormous success in terms of both athletic accomplishment and personal growth of the snowboarders,” said ADF legal counsel Mathew Hoffmann. “But for merely expressing his views that males and females are biologically different and questioning the appropriateness of a teenage male competing against teenage females in an athletic competition, school district officials unconstitutionally fired him.”
ADF has gained notoriety for seeking to roll back LGBTQ+ rights while expanding Christian practices in schools, with the Southern Poverty Law Center labeling the nonprofit an “anti-LGBTQ hate group.”
The complaint also insinuated that Sousa may have been biased against Bloch because she is believed to have a child who identifies as transgender.
The suit is asking the court to reinstate Bloch as a snowboarding coach and prohibit the Windsor Central school board, the Vermont Principals Association, and the Vermont Agency of Education from enforcing their harassment, hazing and bullying policies in relation to discussions of transgender athletes.
Bloch is also seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.
SOURCE: New york post