Vermont School Banishes Girls Team From Locker Room Over Transgender Complaint, Faces Backlash

Vermont School Banishes Girls Team From Locker Room Over Transgender Complaint, Faces Backlash
Volleyball players wait for the start of the women's match in Rio de Janeiro on August 16, 2016. (Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP via Getty Images)
Alice Giordano

Democratic and Republican lawmakers in Vermont are siding with a girls' high school volleyball team that's been banished from their locker room for complaining about being forced to change in front of a male team member who says he identifies as female.

Blake Allen, one of the banned members of the Randolph Union High School volleyball team, said the teenage girls were told they must now change in a single-stall bathroom while the male teammate can continue to use the girls' locker room, according to WCAX-TV 3 in Vermont.

Rep. Jay Hooper, a Democrat who represents the Orange County town of Randolph in the state legislature, said that progressive parents don't even support allowing boys in girls' locker rooms.

"I hear about this constantly," said Hooper, who is currently seeking a fourth term. "People are actually kind of livid."

He said it doesn't make sense to label a locker room based on "traditional genders" and then kick out the majority who fall under that gender.

It just "seems like common sense" for the school to have the boy change in the bathroom stall, state Rep. Rodney Graham, a Republican from Orange County, told The Epoch Times.

"It seems to make sense to weigh this as a majority versus minority," he said.

Graham said he doesn't think asking teenage girls to change around a male is ever appropriate.

Since the story was first broadcast over the weekend, the school district and its school committee have suspended all of its website pages.

Allen said the boy made inappropriate comments to some of the female volleyball team members in the locker room, although, according to the Vermont TV station report, the school sent an email to parents that the girls are the ones under investigation.

"I feel like for stating my opinion—that I don’t want a biological man changing with me—that I should not have harassment charges or bullying charges," Allen told the TV station.

It's unclear how many female players are involved in the controversy. A typical volleyball team consists of 12 players.

The incident is similar to the case of Julie Jaman, an 80-year-old woman who was banished for life from a YMCA in Washington state in August, for objecting to a male employee who identifies as transgender being in the women's shower area. After Jaman demanded that the person leave, officials at the facility accused her of discrimination and told her to leave and never return.

In response to the Vermont controversy, Jaman, who considers herself a progressive, told The Epoch Times that schools are subjecting girls to voyeurism and maybe even sexual exploitation.

"This is basically a potential setup for young men to carry out sneaky plots to have access to young women and go back to their fraternities or friends and brag about," she said. "They could even be videotaping them."

Prior to suspending the websites, school officials said they were committed to making the boy feel safe as part of their obligations under a state law that prohibits schools from barring students who identify with a gender different from their biological one from school facilities.

However, the Vermont law states that "all students have a right to feel safe at school."

Vermont, which is considered one of the most liberal U.S. states, has the seventh-largest LGBT population in the country and the highest rate of same-sex couples, according to a recent report by the University of California's Williams Institute.

However, not everyone in the gay community supports transgenderism. In England, a group called Mermaids, which supports transgendering children, recently filed a lawsuit against the Charity Commission, for granting charity status to the LGB Alliance, which truncates the LGBTQ+ acronym to reflect its opposition to gender identity ideology.

Alice Giordano is a freelance reporter for The Epoch Times. She is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and the New England bureau of The New York Times.