Vermont Christian School that Denied Woke Policies Sues Over Religious Discrimination

Tierin-Rose Mandelburg | November 22, 2023
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The Mid Vermont Christian School and two separate families just sued Vermont officials for denying the school permission to participate in the state’s tuition program and sports league after the school’s girls basketball team forfeited a game against a team with transgender athletes.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a legal group who works to protect religious freedom, is representing the school in a federal lawsuit that was filed Tuesday. 

For context, in February, the Vermont school forfeited a girls basketball game against another school who had a biological male on their team.

In a statement to Fox Digital at the time, Head of School Vicky Fogg insisted, “We withdrew from the tournament because we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players. Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”

Fogg is spot on! The transgender opponent had a significant advantage over the biological girls on the Christian team, and his presence made the game not only unfair but unsafe. 

Now, due to the fact that the Christian team forfeited, the school was barred from future tournaments by the Vermont Principals Association (VPA). Hence, why the school is suing. 

According to a report of the case from ADF, the school is supposedly required to adopt the state’s views on gender ideology, “namely, that sex is mutable and biological differences do not matter.” ADF said that “Doing so violates the First Amendment rights of Mid Vermont Christian, its students and families, and other faith-based schools by preventing them from practicing their religious beliefs about sexuality and gender.” The school and the parents are suing over religious discrimination.

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Essentially, in order to qualify for the Town Tuitioning Program, which helps pay for "students residing in school districts that do not operate public high schools to attend an approved private school of the students’ choice," the school must adhere to woke policies. Because they don’t, the Christian school was deemed ineligible for that tuition program. Similarly, the VPA kicked the school out of the state’s athletic association for the same reasons, even after 28-years of prior participation. 

It’s not just sports that the school is barred from currently. The VPA barred the school from participating in things like the Geo-Bee, Science and Math Fair, and the Debate and Forensics League, all of which are co-ed academic competitions, solely “because the school believes biological differences between boys and girls.”

As the ADF report noted, “The VPA refuses to let the school back in unless it capitulates and agrees to force its girls to compete against biological males and to let males on its own girls’ teams.”

ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker who is the director of ADF Center for Christian Ministries said the following about the case: 

The state’s unlawful exclusion of Mid Vermont Christian from participating in the tuition program and athletic association is the latest example of state officials trampling on constitutionally protected rights. And egregiously, Vermont continues its blatant discrimination against religious schools despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Carson v. Makin that the government cannot exclude families from public benefits just because they choose religious education for their children.

It’s really insane that a Christian school is in trouble for being Christian. Time will tell how this lawsuit pans out.

 

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