A social worker at a Maine school gave a 13-year-old girl a chest binder and secretly supported her gender transition without informing her parents, the girl’s mother claims.
Earlier this month, mom Amber Lavigne gave an emotional speech to the Central Lincoln County School System school board in southern Maine, claiming a social worker at Great Salt Bay Community School had provided her daughter with a chest binder, a device used to crush female breasts in order to achieve a more masculine appearance.
“She is a minor child,” the mom said, her voice breaking, “and under no circumstances should she have been provided a chest binder without knowledge of the parents.”
Lavigne said she discovered the chest binder in her daughter’s bedroom on December 2. She also noted that her daughter expressed that she had made the discovery because keeping a secret from her parents had been causing her distress, anxiety, and depression.
Binding can cause a litany of negative effects, including rib fractures, shortness of breath, potentially chronic back and chest pain, bad posture, overheating, numbness, lightheadedness, and fungal infections. A 2016 study found that more than 97% of people reported at least one of 28 different negative effects due to binding.
Lavigne has since pulled her daughter from the school.
The school social worker in question is allegedly Samuel Roy, according to the Maine Wire, a local outlet.
The staff list for Great Salt Bay Community School appears to have been scrubbed from their website since December 18. However, an archived version of the webpage shows Roy listed as a social worker.
Lavigne’s daughter was originally assigned to a different social worker, but when Roy took over her care in October her parents were never informed, Lavigne told the school board. The social worker provided the 13-year-old with the chest binder just two weeks after meeting her, she claimed.
“A social worker at the school encouraged a student to keep a secret from their parents. This is the very definition of child predatory sexual grooming,” Lavigne said.
The school’s policies reportedly prohibit staff members from “asking a student to keep a secret.”
Lavigne demanded that all district employees who were aware that the chest binder was provided to her daughter be fired immediately.
“Laws, policies, and parental trust were broken,” she said, “and the decisions made drove a wedge between a child and their parents.”
“No other parent should have to go through the trauma and distress, serious distress, that this has caused my family,” she said.
Lavigne told The Daily Wire that her attorney is filing a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission.
In a statement, School Board Chairman Samuel Belknap said the board is “not able to discuss confidential student and staff information in public.”
“When administrators receive concerns from parents and/or students about potential issues in school, the Board has specific policies and procedures in place that must be followed when addressing those concerns,” read the school board’s statement, provided to The Daily Wire.
“The Board is aware that rumors and allegations have been published and republished on various social media platforms relating to this issue,” the statement continued. “While it is unfortunate that some individuals have sought to use this issue to try and divide our community, as a Board, we are committed not only to following Maine law but also honoring our school’s core values, and focusing on treating each other with dignity and respect.”
Superintendent Lynsey Johnston provided the same statement but did not respond when asked whether the district is investigating the situation.