Parent of Down Syndrome girl: CVU plan allowing males in locker room ‘erasing females’

Tells school board: “We are saying to young females it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable you are”

By Michael Bielawski

A parent at the Champlain Valley School Board meeting on Tuesday spoke up about concerns she has regarding an update to the school’s equity and transgender policies. The board is currently proposing, to be voted on next month, that people must use preferred pronouns and transgender people can choose the bathroom/locker rooms that they identify with, among other provisions.

The proposal is to be voted on next month.

Michelle Gagne is the parent of a senior at the school who has Down syndrome. Due to her condition, her daughter is not supposed to be in certain situations with biological males such as for example locker rooms or sleeping arrangements during a field trip.

“I have a daughter with special needs, she has Down Syndrome, she can’t tell us when somebody does something to her or makes her feel uncomfortable,” Gagne said. “She doesn’t have the words to do that.”

She is adamant that her daughter remain safe while attending school.

“We have told her that you are not to be in a room with a person with a penis. You are to be with girls,” she said. “That’s how she’s been brought up.”

She continued to speak about the various challenges these proposals may create.

“My daughter will not be able to go and stay overnight somewhere for a biological male who wants to sleep in a room with biological females and shower in a bathroom that they all share,” she said. “It makes me very uncomfortable for her because my daughter can’t see the difference. She doesn’t understand.”

She added that she feels this movement to include biological males with young women in private situations is undoing women’s rights.

“And I feel that we are erasing females, everything that was fought for when I was in school when I was a young woman, everything we fought for to have a voice, to have privacy in the bathrooms, to have privacy when we went somewhere,” she said.

“And now if they want field trips, there’s no guarantee that they are going to be able to sit there and just have a room with biological females with them if a biological male wants to sleep in the room because they feel that they identify as a female.”

She said that young women today are in a tough spot because if they feel uncomfortable with these policies and they try to speak out, they may be ridiculed as a result.

“That puts the rest of the girls [at risk] who are not going to dare to say anything and there are a lot of girls out there saying things to me and saying it makes them uncomfortable but because it’s not politically correct in this current environment, they are feeling threatened and I just don’t understand how this is going to help anything. It’s going to help a select few,” she said.

She also disputed the notion that transgenders are happier after doing surgeries to transition.

“I know this from friends that have had the surgery, I know this from friends with children who grew up with my children that have had the surgery,” she said. “It’s a nightmare for them.”

She suggested these proposals could be very disruptive for young women.

“I don’t understand why we are doing this policy and we are saying to young females it doesn’t matter how uncomfortable you are, what matters is that this minority population has to be comfortable at your expense,” she said.

During an exchange with the board, she still praised their efforts to generally address social justice concerns.

“I know that you guys have worked hard to be inclusive and I totally understand that,” she said.

The chair of the Champlain Valley School District Board of Directors Angela Arsenault was the only board member to respond. She is also a state legislator, a Democrat for the Williston area.

“I hear what you are saying, I’m sure that I cannot say anything to completely allay your concerns,” Arsenault said. “But I will say that I know that the facilities that we have here at the high school, there are gender-neutral bathrooms which are single bathrooms and I think there is an opportunity for privacy in all of those spaces already, I’m sure that doesn’t completely alleviate your fears, I’m not sure I could say anything that would.”

She added that there will be a vote next month on their agenda.

Extensive media coverage of the CVU plan omitted coverage of Gagne’s complaint.

The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle.

Categories: Education

17 replies »

  1. Thank you for sharing your concerns and being a parent ready to stand up to protect your daughter. I hope this story reaches other parents with concerns and that there will be more parents who will follow your example to stand up to protect the children. You are right – there are places where inclusiveness is eradicating women’s rights. I hope this will not be glossed over in favor of the UN agenda 30 that our school administration, school board members and NEA are endorsing. Parents should hold the upper hand in these policy matters – it is their tax dollars that built and support the schools.

  2. For shame!! Welcome to Vermont! Public education needs to be avoided at all costs. Then, and only then will there be appropriate reversal of this idiotic wokeness.

  3. People who ” choose” their gender can only be allowed in rooms of their gender at birth. I am sorry, but they cannot be allowed to upset the majority for the pleasure of the peeping con they are really running. Only woke, ignorant, naïve, marks fall for this con.

  4. Quote from the school board chair: “I hear what you are saying, I’m sure that I cannot say anything to completely allay your concerns,” Arsenault said. “But I will say that I know that the facilities that we have here at the high school, there are gender-neutral bathrooms which are single bathrooms and I think there is an opportunity for privacy in all of those spaces already”

    Basically, the school board chair is saying “too bad for your daughter- we are doing this! She’ll just have to use gender-neutral bathrooms which reinforces to her that she is different than other students.”

    So much for inclusion. Sad. Very sad.

  5. So basically, School Board Chair annd Williston House Rep Angela Arsenault tells this mother too bad we are doing this. Your special needs will just have to use a single bathroom to avoid embarrassment and further reinforce that she different than the others students.
    So much for inclusion.
    So sad.

  6. Some of these school board personnel need to get a little taste of the filth they are dishing out.

  7. I simply start to question my own sense of reality when I read these things where the leaders of our society are saying that boys can use girls bathrooms. That is really what we do today!?!

  8. The upside is now parents know the mindset of those trying to shape the thinking of their children via the government school system. It is hard to imagine any parent being okay with their child being under the supervision and direction of people who would promote such an idea. We would not let such confused people be part of shaping the thinking of our children, even if they under pressure reversed their position. You know what they wanted. The only wise and loving option is to get your children out of government run schools. For almost everyone it is a priority issue. If you have to move, then move. Get it so you can give your child schooling that actually educates. Education is learning realities of life, not fantasies, innocent or deranged as is the case with this situation.

  9. Our society generally is fine with having sex segregation in some sports in the interest of competitiveness and safety for women. We have also based the segregation for our changing facilities, multi-user public restrooms and prisons on that same criteria. If it works, dont mess with it. If we wanted to base it on psychology and feewings, then gay men would use the women’s facilities and vice versa, but we know that criteria invites a host of problems SO WE BASE IT ON ANATOMY.

  10. So — since they already have some single, gender-neutral bathrooms — why don’t the gender-confused people just use the facilities that have already been provided? Why must the rest of us endorse their confusion?

    • That would be the logical solution. Telling 50% of the student population who were born biologically female to use the FOUR single stall gender neutral bathrooms is telling them that it is better for them to be discriminated against rather than to hurt the feelings of the less than 1% who are biological males who now claim to identify as females.

      Where are the privacy rights of the biological females? Why is it that biological males are now allowed to take away their rights to privacy, their rights to be on an all female sports team, etc.? This is bullying at its finest. Students and parents need to step up and say “NO!” to this agenda without fear of repercussions.

  11. I read some very surprising and unexpected news today: Gov. Newsome has vetoed requiring parents of children in state custody to affirm their child’s chosen gender. Big Win.

    • …a big win for whom? It’s just Governor hair gel realizing that the issue is a big
      loser at the polls and since he will be running for president, he want to be a fence sitter on the issue…

  12. People with intellectual disabilities are vulnerable. They need clear boundaries to keep them safe, especially in sexual matters. When these boundaries are removed or blurred, it makes them more vulnerable. They have enough to contend with without making life more confusing for them. Sure, this particular school may have gender neutral bathrooms, but not all public buildings or buildings that serve the public, do. While we are talking about rights, Michelle’s daughter and others like her have a right to use a public multi-stall bathroom without encountering men in it. As for pronouns, people with Down syndrome often have a challenge with expressive language. It is cruel to expect them to use fluid language for pronouns, or to use that language with them. Imagine someone who struggles with language trying to understand someone talking to them about one person and using the pronoun “They.” It’s just cruel. By the way, how is it that we have allowed the schools to get away with not teaching proper English grammar? And how have we allowed them to teach the misuse of the English language?