Vermont snowboarding coach files lawsuit after getting fired for sharing views on trans athletes

The former head coach of a Vermont high school snowboarding team has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that he was fired earlier this year after he expressed his religious beliefs and views on transgender athletes. 

Alliance Defending Freedom filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont Monday on behalf of David Bloch, who founded the snowboarding team at Woodstock Union High School more than a decade ago, after he was terminated for discussing his views on trans athletes. 

a snowboard seen on a mountain

A snowboard at the top of a mountain during the downhill event at the Lake Louise Audi FIS Ski World Cup on December 2, 2022, at the Lake Louise Ski Resort in Lake Louise, AB.  (Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The lawsuit alleges that at a competition on February 8, Bloch overheard a conversation between two of his athletes discussing a male snowboarder who identified as a female and was competing against other biological females. 


“Coach Bloch joined the conversation to offer that people express themselves differently and that there can be masculine women and feminine men,” the complaint read. “But he 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. Coach Bloch discussed that biological differences generally give males competitive advantages in athletic events.”

The conversation lasted three minutes, and the competition went off without incident, the lawsuit stated. Both teams even traveled together on the same bus after the competition ended. 

But the following day, Bloch met with Windsor Central Supervisory Union Superintendent Sherry Sousa, who informed him that he had been terminated for violating the district’s harassment, hazing, and bullying (HHB) and the Vermont Principals’ Association (VPA) policies after a complaint had been filed. 

Snowboard And Ski In The Snow stuck in snow

Snowboard And Ski In The Snow.  (Universal Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The lawsuit claimed that Sousa accused Bloch of using “disparaging names,” which “created an objectively offensive environment and constituted harassment based on gender identity, justifying termination.”

Sousa also allegedly said that Bloch’s firing had been decided on before the investigation into the complaint had been complete. It also noted that Sousa is believed to have a child who “identifies as transgender.”

The lawsuit stated that Bloch, a “practicing Roman Catholic,” was sharing his beliefs during the conversation and was therefore “engaged in constitutionally protected activity.” 

“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. 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 Legal Counsel Mathew Hoffmann said in a statement. 

A snowboarder goes down a hill

A snowboarder rides down the hill at Hoodoo Ski Area Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK)

“The First Amendment ensures Dave, and every other American, can freely express his views on a matter of profound public concern without government punishment. We urge the court to swiftly rule that officials must reinstate Dave as snowboarding coach and that district and Vermont officials cannot enforce unconstitutional ‘harassment’ policies against public employees.” 

The lawsuit names several defendants, including Sousa and the Windsor Central Supervisory Union Board. Sousa and Woodstock Union High School did not return Fox News Digital’s request for comment. 


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