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Female Volleyball Team Banned from Own Locker Room After Transgender Student Made Them Feel Uncomfortable
Randolph Union High School via WCAX
Feeling comfortable, as a teenage girl changing in a locker room, is an important part of being in high school. No student should have to fear their safety or be reprimanded for bringing up an incident where they feel like their safety is in jeopardy. Unfortunately, this happened at Randolph High School in Burlington, Vermont.
An incident first occurred when a transgender student inside the girl’s locker room, made inappropriate comments toward biological female volleyball players who were changing inside the girl’s locker room.
After this incident, a female volleyball player named Blake Allen, decided to speak out regarding the incident.
Blake stated, “So every girl, no one’s allowed in the locker room, no volleyball girls even during school to get changed for gym class. No one is allowed from volleyball.”
Before Blake spoke out, emails were sent out to parents informing them that the girls were banned from using the locker room pending an investigation. The focus of the investigation is not regarding the transgender student making inappropriate comments to girls from the volleyball team, but against the volleyball team for alleged “harassment” of the boy that claims that he is a girl.
Blake stated in her interview with WCAX that, “My mom wants me to do this interview to try to make a change. I feel like for stating my opinion, that I don’t want a biological male changing with me, that I should not have harassment charges or bullying charges. They should all be dropped.” Blake continued by saying, “There are biological boys that go into the girl’s bathroom but never the locker room.”
When the email went to parents on this issue, the school indicated that “there is plenty of space where students who feel uncomfortable with the laws may change in privacy.” Blake rejected the school’s explanation of this, by commenting, “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.”
Vermont Agency of Education’s policy states that, “a transgender student should not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity” but also notes that “any student may desire additional privacy in using a bathroom or locker room. A transgender or gender nonconforming student may request additional privacy within a locker room or other changing room. Similarly, other students may request additional privacy in changing clothes in a locker room or changing area used.”
The school is supposed to protect the privacy of all students, but in this incident, the school only appears to be focused on one transgender student, and not the safety of all the female students. What this is stating, is that the female students are the problem. They are banned from using the locker room, not the person who originally made the females uncomfortable in the locker room.
It should not be the female students who need to find another place to change, being banned from their own locker room, when the locker room itself is a female locker room. The easiest solution would be for the transgender student use a private changing stall. This would protect the privacy of both the transgender student and the female students. This solution though, was the opposite of what Randolph High School decided.
Issues like this in high schools and colleges, will not go away anytime soon, if ever. As a nation, we need to come up with decisions that best support every student involved, not only a few in the minority.
Bounding into Sports. https://boundingintosports.com. October 1, 2022. Vermont High School Bans Girls Volleyball Team From Their Own Locker Room After They Objected To Boy Changing With Them. By John F. Trent.
Biological Female Volleyball Players Banned From Locker Room For Feeling Uncomfortable Changing With Transgender Teammate. October 1, 2022. By Joe Kinsey.
Vermont Agency of Education’s Policy. https://education.vermont.gov/sites/aoe/files/documents/edu-best-practics-transgender-and-gnc.pdf
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