A coach who was fired for saying that men have biological advantages over women in sports has lost his request for a preliminary injunction.
Coach David J. Bloch asked a federal court to issue a temporary injunction reinstating his employment, arguing he would suffer irreparable harm without one.
Bloch was a snowboard coach at Woodstock Union High School in Vermont. When two students – one male and one female – were arguing about the fairness of transgender athletes competing against women, Bloch explained that men have a distinct biological advantage, reported the Mountain Times.
“Coach Bloch said that those differences in DNA cause males to develop differently from females and to have different physical characteristics, which generally give males competitive advantages in sports,” lawyers from Alliance Defending Freedom, who are representing Bloch, said in their motion for the injunction.
ADF continued that Bloch wasn’t addressing the team, nor was he teaching in the classroom, when the controversial comments were made. He “simply had a casual three-minute conversation with two students on his snowboarding team before a competition.”
But the school district fired Bloch the next day without even giving him a chance to defend himself.
“Government officials can’t fire someone for respectfully sharing his beliefs on a matter of public concern,” ADF explained. “It’s a clear violation of the First Amendment, and that’s why ADF attorneys are helping Coach Bloch defend his rights.”
The district “accused him of violating” school district policy and the Vermont Principals’ Association Athletics (VPA) policy on harassment, hazing and bullying, as reported previously by The Lion.
In September 2023, Judge Christina Reiss signed an order stipulating that the case will be ready for trial by August 12, 2024.
ADF attorneys argued that the long delay between Bloch’s termination and an eventual decision in the case meant their client faced irreparable harm without the preliminary injunction.
However, Reiss ruled against issuing a preliminary injunction.
Windsor Superintendent Sherry Sousa, a defendant in the case, said the district was happy that Bloch won’t be reinstated as coach.
“The District is very pleased with this result. After a full evidentiary hearing, the federal court refused to reinstate Mr. Bloch, rejecting his arguments that he was exercising his free speech rights when he made comments about a transgender student/athlete on another team,” she said in a statement to the Vermont Standard.
Bloch’s lawyers were disappointed by the judge’s decision, but glad the lawsuit is set to proceed.
“No one should lose his or her job for speaking the truth. But we are pleased the court has allowed us to continue to defend Coach Bloch’s right to speak without censorship. We look forward to proving that Coach Bloch and all Americans have the right to express their opinion, especially on matters of public concern,” said Matthew Hoffman, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.
Discoveries in the case are due by May 8, 2024.