On the all-girls volleyball team at Randolph Union High, an unnamed transgender female, who is 14, is allowed by law in the girls’ locker room. But his pushback began when a female volleyball player, Blake Allen, told TV news station WCAX the male student had made an “inappropriate” comment in front of female teammates while they were changing clothes. She also claimed the girls had been banned from their own locker room as punishment, a claim school officials later disputed.
That local TV news story, which was later called “transphobic” and scrubbed from the WCAX website, was nonetheless picked up by national media outlets and the story went viral. Within days, Randolph Union High was famous – or infamous depending on one’s views – because it was being dragged into the ongoing national debate over “trans rights” versus the rights of female athletes.
Steve McConkey, who leads 4 Winds Christian Athletics, tells AFN it appears the high school fears a lawsuit from the male transgender student so the girls are being banned from their own locker room.
“That’s unheard of,” he says.
In the same school district, the locker room controversy that dates back to September made more headlines this week. A middle school soccer coach is now suspended after calling the same transgender female "he" in a Facebook post in which the coach tangled with the mother of the transgender student.
That suspended coach, Travis Allen, is the father of Blake Allen, Fox News reported.
“The truth is your son watched my daughter and multiple other girls change in the locker room," the father told the trans teen's mother. "While he got a free show, they got violated.”
In a letter to the father, Superintendent Layne Millington called that conduct "unprofessional and unbecoming, and flies in the face of the Vermont Principal Association’s athletic regulations, Vermont State regulations, and the RUHS Middle-High School expectations.”
As the volleyball locker room story took off last month, it has followed a familiar pattern: the mother of the transgender student said her son is the victim, not the complaining girls on the volleyball team. The school district complained it has been deluged with harassing phone calls and threatening emails, which were shown during an Oct. 11 school board meeting in which 300-plus people attended.
'Some girls weren't dressed at all'
Another now-familiar claim is that most students and parents support the transgender volleyball player, meaning the complaining girls are in the minority. To push back on that claim, The Daily Signal interviewed several volleyball players, including Blake, who spoke publicly last week despite threats against them by school officials.
“A male was in our locker room when volleyball girls were trying to get changed,” Blake, recounting the incident, told Daily Signal reporter Mary Margaret Olohan. “And after I asked him to leave, he didn’t and later looked over at girls with their shirts off. And it made many people uncomfortable and feel violated.”
Blake also showed the Signal emails from school officials that accuse her of “harassing someone based on their gender.” She is now being investigated under the school district’s “Hazing, Harassment, and Bullying” policy.
A second female athlete, Kayla, disputed the claim that the girls weren’t changing clothes.
“Some girls were already dressed. Some girls weren’t dressed at all. Some girls were in the middle of changing,” Kayla told the Signal.
Asked why people would claim otherwise, Kayla said there is an effort to “twist the story on us” to make the female players look bad.
A third female player, Grace, told the Signal the teen girls don’t deserve to be accused of “hatred” for wanting to change without a male student in the room.
“It’s just we want to feel comfortable.”