Vermont Accused Of Discriminating Against Christian School

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Mid Vermont Christian School and two families filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday [November, 21, 2023] against Vermont officials for denying the Christian school and its students from participating in the state’s tuition program and sports league because of their religious beliefs.

Vermont, through its Agency of Education and Vermont Principals’ Association, requires private, religious schools like Mid Vermont Christian to adopt the state’s view on human sexuality and gender—namely, that sex is mutable and biological differences do not matter—as a condition to participate in the state’s tuition program and athletic association. 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.

“Vermont has an infamous record of discriminating against religious schools and families, whether it be withholding generally available public funding or denying them membership in the state’s sports league because they hold religious beliefs that differ from the state’s preferred views,” said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Tucker, director of the ADF Center for Christian Ministries. “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.”

Mid Vermont Christian is a faith-based pre-K-12 school located in Quechee whose religious beliefs drive and form the foundation for everything it does. Vermont’s Agency of Education refused to designate Mid Vermont Christian as an approved independent school because of its religious beliefs, which means the school cannot participate in the state’s Town Tuitioning Program. Vermont’s Town Tuitioning Program pays for students residing in school districts that do not operate public high schools to attend an approved private school of the students’ choice. However, the agency’s refusal to grant Mid Vermont Christian approved independent status caused the Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union and Orange East Supervisory Union to recoup tuition payments initially sent to the school.

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Alliance Defending Freedom | “Vermont expels Christian school from tuition program, sports league” | November 21, 2023


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