By Michael Bielawski
A young student who attends a Christian independent school is being told by Hartford Memorial Middle School that she is not welcome to play soccer on their team because in the past her school has refused to play games with a team that had a transgender athlete.
The student is 12-year-old Annabella Gordon, she attends the Mid Vermont Christian School in Quechee. For years she’s been allowed to play on the local Hartford team because her school doesn’t have a soccer program.
Now she is being told by the school that she is not welcome to join. What happened in February of this year, The Vermont Principal’s Association condemned the decision by MVC to forfeit a basketball game with Long Trail School, another small independent school that included a transgender biological male on its team.
“In other words, guilt by association,” wrote columnist Jim Kenyon in the September 9 Valley News, the daily newspaper for Windsor County.
The VPA also banned the school from further participation in the leagues that they run. They argue that the school is violating their policy on gender identity which includes prohibition of discrimination “based on a student’s actual or perceived sex and gender.” The VPA also says that state law further affirms this policy.
Now Gordon’s family is being told she is not allowed to participate on the soccer team. According to a report by the Valley News, she’s used the program not just as recreation but to reconnect with old friends that they no longer see.
VDC reached out to the VPA to ask them if their policy to force acceptance of transgender athletes violates the Compelled Speech Doctrine of the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. So far the VPA has not yet responded.
The Christian School’s comments
Head of Mid Vermont Christian School Vicky Fogg told the Valley News back in February that, “we believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players.”
She also said that the VPA’s decision to ban them from their leagues, “does nothing to deal with the very real issue of safety and fairness facing women’s sports.”
Not all public for forced transgenderism
Not everyone in the public is going along with the policy of forcing transgenderism into Vermont sports. In a Facebook post in March, Kathi Tarrant of Waterbury wrote, “Kudos to those who refuse to bend a knee to the gender-benders.”
Former candidate for Vermont GOP state chair Jim Sexton posted, “These Girls, their Coaches and Parents have shown courage. In the face of hate they said, No More.”
Not the first transgender controversy in Vermont
This is not the first transgender controversy in Vermont sports recently. A high school volleyball team was banned from its own locker room over a transgender dispute last year. The school tried to enforce that a biological male be allowed to change in the girls’ locker room.
The school was sued by one of the parents of a girl on the team and subsequently, the school was forced to pay one family $40,000 in damages and another $85,000 to lawyers. The school had its insurance company pay out the money and then they refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
Earlier this year de-transitioner Walt Heyer featured speaker at Vergennes. He talked about the devastating and permanent effects of “gender affirmation” surgeries and more, according to coverage by VDC.
The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle