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Christian School That Protested Trans-Identifying Student Sues State

  A Vermont Christian school that pulled out of a basketball game over a trans-identifying male player is suing the state for barring it fro...

 A Vermont Christian school that pulled out of a basketball game over a trans-identifying male player is suing the state for barring it from state tournaments as well as a state tuition program.

Mid Vermont Christian School in Hartford filed a federal lawsuit against the state in Burlington on Tuesday, alleging that the Vermont Agency of Education committed religious discrimination when it refused to designate the school as an approved independent school.

“Mid Vermont Christian and its students are being irreparably harmed by being denied participation in the Town Tuitioning and Dual Enrollment Programs and middle school and high school athletics,” the lawsuit states.

“This civil rights action seeks to protect a Christian school and its students and parents from unconstitutional religious discrimination and hostility,” the complaint reads.

Back in February, Mid Vermont Christian forfeited a girls basketball playoff game, saying a trans-identifying male player on the opposing team jeopardized “the fairness of the game and the safety of our players.”

The opposing team from Long Trail High School automatically won the game.

The next month, the body that governs school sports, the executive council of the Vermont Principals’ Association, banned the Christian school from future tournaments. The council ruled the school had violated the council’s policies on race, gender and disability awareness.

Meanwhile, the Vermont State Board of Education requires independent schools to provide the board with a nondiscrimination statement and post the statement on their websites. If the board does not approve a school, that school may not participate in the state’s town tuition program, which funds private school tuition for students in areas without a public school.

“The State is entitled to its own views, but it is not entitled, nor is it constitutional, to force private, religious schools across the state to follow that orthodoxy as a condition to participating in Vermont’s tuitioning program and the State’s athletic association,” the school’s lawsuit says.

The school’s girls basketball coach, who has coached the team for the last 10 years, said he could not have imagined telling his daughter she could not play sports due to her religious views.


“No one, including our student athletes, should have opportunities taken away from them because of their religious beliefs,” coach Chris Goodwin told Fox News.

The lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

“Vermont has repeatedly discriminated against Christian schools and their families for following their religious beliefs,” ADF senior counsel Ryan Tucker said.

“Put simply, Mid Vermont Christian School believes that boys are boys and girls are girls. They have been punished for this belief. No school or parent should have to change their beliefs to participate in athletics or a state tuitioning program,” Tucker said.

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