Education

Cancelled by local media, Randolph girls speak out

In this October 13 video by the Daily Signal, Randolph Union High School girls speak out – even though WCAX, the state’s largest television station, has pulled a story on the school’s locker room controversy from its website. The girls say they have no hate towards the trans student who, fully clothed, watched them change; they demand privacy and respect; they know they risk punishment, including loss of scholarships. They also say gay, non-trans boys have been using the girls’ bathroom, despite their complaints.

by Mary Margaret Olohan, The Daily Signal

RANDOLPH — Blake Allen and her teammates spoke out when a biologically male student used their locker room. Now these young girls face heavy criticism—and maybe even punishment.

Our Daily Signal team traveled up the coast this week to the town of Randolph in northeastern Vermont, just in time to catch the last few days of the town’s beautiful fall foliage. We wanted to meet these girls, cheerful young ladies who chatted with us over pancakes and coffee. They shared their stories and anxieties from the past few weeks of tension and acknowledged the risks of publicly addressing such a controversial topic.

It’s an issue that not many parents expect their 14-year-old daughters to grapple with, much less address publicly: a biologically male student identifying as a transgender girl, playing on the girls’ volleyball team, and using their locker room. 

But in this Vermont school district, school officials cite state law allowing for students to use locker rooms and bathrooms that align with their stated gender identity. These officials say that they care about everyone’s safety and that Randolph Union High School is investigating whether harassment took place when the girls told their biologically male classmate not to come into their locker room while they were changing.

During a well-attended Tuesday evening forum with parents, school Superintendent Layne Millington claimed that coverage of the girls’ pushback has sparked hatred and bigotry toward both the trans-identifying student and the school district. And other parents and students criticized Blake and her family for speaking up on the matter. 

Parents who spoke with The Daily Signal said the superintendent and the forum did not focus on the most pressing matter at hand: their daughters’ discomfort at having a biologically male student in the locker room able to observe them while they are changing. 

Early on a foggy Wednesday morning, we met up with some of these young ladies at the local bowling alley-turned-diner. Nervous to speak out, but determined to speak her truth, each girl sat down, mic’d up, and offered her own explanation as to why she believes her voice is not being respected. 

These girls tell us they bear no ill will toward the trans-identifying student—they just don’t believe a biological male should be in their locker room and they can’t understand why school officials seemingly don’t care about their feelings and their discomfort. 

“A male was in our locker room when volleyball girls were trying to get changed,” said Blake. “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. And I left as soon as I could in a panic.”

“It’s not fully the trans student’s fault,” she added. “It is much more the school board’s fault and they’re failing everyone. Not just the volleyball team, not the transgender student. They did nothing to help this situation. They still aren’t. They just want people to be in trouble and they’re not trying to help make a change.” 

A female member of the volleyball team who identified herself as Lilly claimed at Tuesday evening’s forum that none of the girls in the locker room were changing when the trans-identifying student entered the room. Kayla, one of the volleyball players who sat down with us, says that’s simply not true. 

“Everyone was at different points of changing,” she explained. “Some girls were already dressed, some girls weren’t dressed at all, some girls were in the middle of changing.” 

“So why would someone say that they weren’t?” I asked her. 

“I feel like everyone’s just trying to twist the story on us and make us look like the bad people in this situation,” the high school student said. 

The trans-identifying student’s guardian, Melissa Sivvy, has insisted to The Daily Signal that her child is a girl, deserves to use the girls’ locker room, and never behaved inappropriately.

Offered a chance to respond to this story, the child’s guardian asked The Daily Signal to explain what “biologically male” means and what the girls meant by saying that they were uncomfortable having her child in their space while they were changing.

“Your child is biologically male, correct?” I asked Sivvy on Wednesday evening. 

She responded: “Do you think adults should be thinking about what is under children’s clothing? Seems a little inappropriate to me.”

Parents we spoke with told us that they are outraged that the school district and the high school would allow such an incident to even occur—they don’t want biological boys in their daughters’ locker rooms, and they are bewildered as to why the school system is apparently prioritizing the needs of students who identify as transgender over their daughters. They also strongly pushed back against allegations that speaking up is hateful. 

“I want all kids, all kids at RUHS to feel safe, all kids nationwide to feel safe in their spaces where they need to change or are supposed to be private spaces,” Blake’s mother, Jessica Allen, told us. “We have to get creative as a nation to really figure out how to keep everybody safe, and everyone working together. The hate really does need to stop, because that’s not what this is about…let’s have an open dialogue about how to keep everybody safe and feeling comfortable, because we’ve taught children to protect their bodies.” 

“I feel it’s not the place for them,” added Eric Messier, Kayla’s father. “My daughter feels uncomfortable … while that other student’s in the locker room. 

“All that matters is she’s uncomfortable. It’s pretty simple,” he added, describing his daughter and her friends as “tough, resilient young girls.” 

“They need to make a change and make everybody comfortable.” 

School officials keep pointing to Vermont state law on the matter, Jessica Allen noted.  “But the law, as it reads, has some room for creativity,” she said. “So let’s get creative and let’s make that happen so everyone does feel safe.” 

Blake tells us that she is not only failing to get support from the school—she’s also facing punishment. Emails viewed by The Daily Signal show that school officials are investigating her for “harassing someone based on their gender” and have launched an investigation into this allegation following a “Hazing, Harassment, and Bullying” process. 

School officials would not comment specifically on these allegations against Blake. Co-Principal Lisa Floyd told The Daily Signal: “Student safety is our District’s highest priority. We always do our best to maintain a supportive learning environment for all of our students.” 

“The District has policies and procedures to respond to student harassment based on protected characteristics or other misconduct,” she added. “We are not able to discuss any specific students because of federal privacy laws. However, when we become aware that there has been a violation of our policies, including harassment of other students, we respond immediately. Where the policies and expectations are violated, we take disciplinary action consistent with the law and reasonably calculated to prevent further misconduct. We also do our best to give victims supportive measures.” 

Blake says she does not regret speaking out. 

I’m glad I spoke out because there’s still so much that could be done, that the law could be changed, because now it’s national news,” she told me. When it comes to the trans-identifying student, “He had the right to go in, but once we said we were uncomfortable, he should have just left. It should have been that simple.” 

“I don’t want other girls to have to feel uncomfortable about it,” the high school student added. “I think everyone should be able to just get changed in a locker room that they were born as. If you were born a girl, you can go in the girls’ locker room, get out when you’re done. It should be simple and it’s not anymore.” 

Kayla said she’s heard a lot of people saying that school officials are treating the trans-identifying student as if that student has more rights than the girls. 

“That’s a good way to put it,” she said. “They care more about that one single student than the rest of the girls. So they’re telling us all to go get changed in the single stalls instead of the locker room. And the trans person can have the locker room while all of us go into different places.” 

“I feel like the team’s really brave about doing this because we all knew what was going to happen if we did, the consequences. If one of us were to get a scholarship, they could find this on the internet and take it away,” she added. “And so there’s many consequences to doing it, but I think it’s really important that we’re doing it.” 

“Is it hatred and bigotry to say that you don’t want a biological male in your bathroom or locker room?” I asked most of the girls. 

“Nope,” says Grace, a senior at Randolph Union High School. 

“Not at all,” Blake tells me. 

“No,” says Blake’s mother. “It’s about their comfort and their feelings.” 

“It’s also a fact,” adds Grace, “because they are a biological male and it’s not hatred. It’s just we want to feel comfortable.”

“Talk about women’s rights,” the student added, “we should have the right to go to the bathroom without a male in our bathroom.” 

The author is a senior reporter for The Daily Signal, the news media outlet of the Heritage Foundation.

Categories: Education

21 replies »

  1. This report confirms the liberal disease that has infested Vermont’s Public Education system, School Boards and legislature. Thru some very disjointed thinking and erroneous interpretation of existing law- Randolph’s schools have painted themselves into a corner. Males ‘identifying’ as gay allowed in female- actually minor children’s- bathrooms? There is no argument to be made other than this is allowing perverse behavior to affect an entire school district. If parents in Randolph are accepting of these policies and the school board’s actions they too are complicit in aiding in this lewd conduct.

  2. This story is heart-wrenching. These girls are true Vermont heroes, risking suspension, expulsion and cancellation by a toxic school administration and local media. We all need to stand unwaveringly in their support.

    The cowardly bully Layne Millington needs to be fired immediately and a full investigation into which teachers were complicit in this abuse of these girls should be conducted.

    Governor Scott — where are you?

  3. It is painful to see these girls suffer, but I am hopeful that through national exposure, more Vermonters stop subscribing to, and advertising in, biased media outlets, will vote for sane government officials, and demand resignations of school officials and teachers who perpetrate perverted justice on our youth. High school students are old enough and responsible enough to attend to their education at home without constant parental supervision. Pull them out of school. The dollars go with them. Money is the only language perverted school officials speak. By statute, they can still play sports in public schools.

  4. In this case, the emphasis has been on the violation of the dignity and privacy in the locker room. What has not been mentioned much is the violation of the fairness and EQUITY to the athletes who compete against a biological male. There are valid reasons that we as a society have chosen to allow gender segregation in most competitive sports and codified the separation in Title IX of our federal civil rights laws. That separation has traditionally been one of ANATOMY and there is no valid reason to change that.

  5. (Letter excerpt)
    October 5, 2022

    Department of Mental Health
    Commissioner Emily Hawes
    280 State Drive, NOB 2 North
    Waterbury, VT 05671-2010

    RE: Randolph Union High School; Sex-Change Surgeries for Kids; Mental illness

    Greetings. It is become publicly obvious that there are dark spirits at work in the Land that must be addressed. You are receiving this letter because you represent mental wholeness and correctness. … I tell you the truth, Christ Jesus is spiritual law above man-made law. … The Church requests the opportunity to meet with you at a mutually agreed upon place and time. We will together rectify the issues upon us. Please respond immediately. Sincerely in Christ Jesus, Thomas H. Millington

    No response from the Commissioner as of 10-14-22. [search: “man-made law.” It is still considered subordinate to Divine Law] The battlefield for the mind today is still the same and ancient secular/worldly versus spiritual.

  6. This is such an example of “wrong think”! In an effort to make this transgender person feel safe the safety of the majority is disregarded. The truth is that the trans person is in need of mental health services rather than the protection of his/her feelings. If a mass murderer is made to feel uncomfortable by being tried for his transgressions, using the same logic as above, should that person be released to protect his feelings? I think that is the direction in which this country is headed!

  7. These girls are just looking for attention. My girls grew up with a transgender youth starting in 2nd grade (when his true identity was revealing itself) and all through High School. The school made it possible for everyone to have their space and nobody thought twice about it. There is nothing new about homosexuality except what to call it. It’s been around forever and always will be around. The difference now is a gay person doesn’t have to pretend to be someone else and doesn’t have to contemplate suicide as the alternative.

    • The queer theorists do not equate being “gay” with being “transgender” at all. In fact, your conflation of these two ideas would get you labeled a bigot by many.

      In other news… my 2nd-grader still believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

  8. It would be a different story though if the school board members or the administrators girls were the ones in the locker room and the boy was allowed in
    Trust me, they would be outraged too but the rules they make are good for everyone as long as it doesn’t affect their life directly , need I elaborate?

  9. “To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.” – G. K. Chesterton, “The War of the Usurpers,” A Short History of England.

  10. I am so sick of this nonsense I could scream. Biological males who “FEEL FEMALE”
    need testosterone supplements. Females who “FEEL MALE’ need estogen supplements. Simple. But frankly the vast…vast…majority of our so-called political “Leaders” need I.Q supplements and they need to get out of politics and find a real job. Got that, Governor Scott? D. Morrisseau W Pawlet, VT 802 645 9727

  11. It seems the Randolph school administration is relying on the Vermont law that deals with “public accommodations”, (Title 9, Commerce and Trade, Chapter 132). As written, Vermont law is “intended to implement and to be construed so as to be consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. and regulations promulgated under that act, and are not intended to impose additional or higher standards, duties, or requirements than that act.”

    The Federal law does not include public schools in its list of “public accommodations” but specifically lists private schools along with many types of commerce. The Federal law also does not include “gender identity” in the list of protected individual characteristics, rather protections against discrimination are given “on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    The “intent” of Vermont’s law to be consistent with Federal law is undermined by its own language that lists “schools” rather than “private schools” in the list of public accommodations and includes “race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity” in the list of protected characteristics.

    It is worth mentioning that the efforts we are seeing by the Biden administration to address gender issues is based on an executive order and not on established law.

  12. We must stand together in fight against LGBTQ hate, backlash
    Guest Perspective | Dana Kaplan Oct 13, 2022

    This was an opinion piece allowed to be published this week in the News and Citizen.
    The author, Dana Kaplan, mentions the Randolph girls and their “threat” to a transgender girl.

    The media is given full rein to fabricate societal problems in Vermont and smear anyone, even innocent high school girls while doing so.

    • I made the mistake of finding that article and reading it. The author seems far more interested in furthering her agenda of S2LGBTIQ+-activism than actually helping any of the children involved (on either side of the dispute.) For example, she states:

      “LGBT youth are three and a half times as likely (38 percent versus 14 percent) to have experienced unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime than their heterosexual peers.” and

      “LGBT youth are nearly five times as likely (19 percent versus 4 percent) to have attempted suicide in the last 12 months than their heterosexual peers”

      She then states with absolute certainty that the LGBT identity of the child is the cause of the adverse outcome. What she neglects to inform readers is the actual settled science – which is entirely the reverse of her carefully crafted logical abduction. The science is clear on this matter – the number one predictor of mental illness, sexual promiscuity, depression and suicide is the presence of “Adverse Childhood Experiences.”

      Like the topsy-turvy science of Dr. Fauci, she has an agenda, and she infers causation where only correlation has been observed.

      She’s probably quadruple-vaxed, as well.

  13. Gee, Barre Times, VT Digger and the other elegant editorial funny papers didn’t cover this? This is pathetic madness. Socialist Justice Lunacy at its queerist. Cisgenders have no rights or any right to complain. Another sign that The Apocalypse is upon us.

  14. Maybe during the debates every moderator needs to ask each candidate their position on this case. I bet siegel, zuckyman, balant, and welch ALL spin this with NO direct answer that fits what Vermonters think.

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