Coach at Christian School Banned After It Refused Game Against Opponent with Trans Player Defends Decision

A basketball coach at a Vermont private school that was banned by the state’s schools association after it forfeited a game last year to avoid playing against a boy who claims to be a girl is defending his actions despite the extreme punishment by ultra-woke school officials.

Chris Goodwin, coach of the girls basketball team for Mid-Vermont Christian School in White River Junction, Vermont, decided his team would not play in a Feb. 21, 2023, state playoff game.

Goodwin made the decision because the opponent had a boy playing on its team who claimed to be a transgender girl. Goodwin said it was both unfair and unsafe for his girls to play.

At the time, Mid-Vermont Christian Head of School Vicky Fogg wrote in an email to the Valley News newspaper, which covers the White River Junction area, that Goodwin forfeited the game because the transgender player “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 wrote.

But the school was soon set upon by the Vermont Principals Association, which accused Mid-Vermont Christian of violating state laws that demand that schools allow transgender athletes to pick whatever team they feel most comfortable playing for at any given time.

The principals association banned Mid-Vermont Christian from participating in all VPA-sanctioned activities, which include not only athletics but also extracurricular competitions such as drama and debate competitions and science and math fairs.

Mid-Vermont Christian, in turn, has filed a lawsuit against the association, claiming “unconstitutional religious discrimination and hostility.” In addition to the Vermont Principals Association, defendants named by the lawsuit include the leaders of the Vermont Agency of Education and the state Board of Education.

The lawsuit claims the ban prevents Mid-Vermont Christian from participation in the state’s “tuitioning” program — a form of school vouchers that pays student tuition at private schools — and the state dual enrollment program, which allows high school students to take earn college credits.

The stakes, in other words, are higher than a basketball game.

Goodwin appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Monday to talk about his experience and to defend his actions.

“I’ve got four daughters. I’ve coached them all at one point in their careers playing high school basketball,” Goodwin said as he criticized the idea of boys playing as girls.

“I’ve also filled in for the boys’ coach when he can’t make a practice, and I run those practices, and boys just play at a different speed, a different force … than the girls play. It’s a different game.”

Goodwin explained that he felt it would be “irresponsible” to let his girls team play against a male and added that it would be “asking for an injury” from the stronger and faster male player.

No school should be punished for believing in biology.

Chris Goodwin, client and girls coach for Mid Vermont Christian School, shares the story | @FoxNews

— Alliance Defending Freedom (@ADFLegal) February 26, 2024

In a brusque, March 13, 2023, memo to Mid-Vermont Christian, the principals’ association said the school did not meet the group’s commitment to “racial,” “gender-fair” and “gender identity” policies.

“Thus, Mid-Vermont Christian school is ineligible to participate in VPA activities going forward,” the memo states.

In a statement to CNN after Mid-Vermont Christian filed its lawsuit in November, the governing body said the school “has every right to teach its beliefs to its own students. It cannot, however, impose those beliefs on students from other public and private schools; deny students from other schools the opportunity to play; or hurt students from other schools because of who those students are.”

In its lawsuit, Mid-Vermont Christian argues it has been “irreparably harmed by being denied participation” in state sports competitions and is “losing out on playing competitive sports as well as academic competition.”

“The VPA won’t even allow the School and its students to participate in co-ed academic competitions like the Geo-Bee, Science and Math Fair, and Debate and Forensics League-all because the School believes biological boys are boys and cannot affirm otherwise,” the lawsuit states.

“The State is entitled to its own views,” it argues, “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.”

Goodwin is unrepentant over the forfeiture.

“After discussions with the administration and our players and parents, we decided that instead of going against our religious beliefs that … there are differences between male and female, we are created differently, we decided to forfeit that game and withdraw from the tournament,” he told “Fox & Friends.”

Ryan Tucker, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom who is representing Mid-Vermont Christian, accused the principals association of trying to silence dissent.

“The state is basically attempting to purge individuals like Chris and other family members in the state, from public discourse, from the ability … to speak out … on issues of significant, public concern,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”

He accused the state of failing to consider “the biological reality” and the health and safety risks to female athletes.

“We’re very confident that we’re going to prevail,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

The post Coach at Christian School Banned After It Refused Game Against Opponent with Trans Player Defends Decision appeared first on The Gateway Pundit.

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