RANDOLPH, Vt. (WCAX) – Randolph High Schools girl’s volleyball team has been banned from its own locker room while school officials investigate a conflict involving a transgender student on the team.
Vermont education policy says students can play sports and use the locker room corresponding to their gender. But some members of the Randolph girl’s volleyball team objected to having a transgender teammate in the room while they were changing.
“It’s a huge thing. Everyone’s asking, ‘So, why aren’t you allowed in the locker room?’” said Blake Allen, who along with her fellow teammates are currently barred from using the locker room after some of the girls on the team objected to allowing a transgender player in the girl’s locker room.
“My mom wants me to do this interview to try to make a change,” Allen said. “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. They should all be dropped.”
Allen says that the dispute started when the trans student made an inappropriate comment while members of the volleyball team were getting changed. She says her issue is not with having the trans student on the team or at school, but specifically in the locker room. “There are biological boys that go into the girl’s bathroom but never a locker room,” Allen said.
She says that fellow team members and parents have also raised similar concerns and have approached the school with them. They were told that under state law, the transgender student could use whatever locker room they identified with.
In an email to families, school officials wrote that the school has “plety of space where students who feel uncomfortable with the laws may change in privacy.”
“They want all the girls who feel uncomfortable — so pretty much 10 girls — to get changed in a single stall bathroom, which would take over 30 minutes. Where if one person got changed separately, it would take a minute, like no extra time,” Allen said.
In the email to parents, school officials say they are conducting an investigation into allegations the girls harassed the transgender student.
Randolph Co-Principal Lisa Floyd said in an email that student safety was the district’s top priority and that when policies are violated, disciplinary action consistent with the law will be taken.
Vermont Agency of Education officials were not available for comment Wednesday. AOE policy states, in part, that “The use of restrooms and locker rooms by transgender students requires schools to consider numerous factors…” But it goes on to state that “A transgender student should not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.”
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