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According to a report from local CBS News outlet WCAX, the controversy arose when a transgender teammate allegedly made remarks that made some of the others on the team uncomfortable.
The school informed parents via email that officials were investigating claims that the girls on the team had harassed their transgender teammate. But in the interim, the transgender student is still allowed full use of the locker room while the others have been relegated to a single-stall bathroom to change one at a time.
A Vermont high school has shut down the locker room after girls on the volleyball team complained about having to share the locker room with a biological man identifying as a transgender woman. https://t.co/gJQ3S9VoNM
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 30, 2022
“It’s a huge thing. Everyone’s asking, ‘So, why aren’t you allowed in the locker room?'” Blake Allen, a member of the volleyball team, told reporters. “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 man changing with me — that I should not have harassment charges or bullying charges. They should all be dropped.”
Allen went on to note that none of the girls on the team had taken issue with playing alongside the transgender student — or even with that student or others who are still biologically male using the female restrooms. Their sole issue was in sharing a locker room, where often they were all changing clothes together.
“There are biological boys that go into the girl’s bathroom but never a locker room,” Allen explained. She also said that the school’s temporary fix — having all of the girls use one single-stalled restroom while the transgender student had access to the locker room — made no sense to her.
“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,” Allen explained, arguing that it made much more sense for the one transgender student to change in the bathroom.
According to the Vermont Agency of Education, transgender students should not be forced to use the bathroom or locker room that does not conform to their gender identity.
“The use of restrooms and locker rooms by transgender students requires schools to consider numerous factors …” The AoE policy reads, but it later adds, “A transgender student should not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the student’s gender identity.”