A dispute between a Vermont high school girls volleyball team and one of its transgender teammates has resulted in the team being banned from its own locker room while the conflict is investigated.
"It's a huge thing. Everyone's asking, 'So, why aren't you allowed in the locker room?'" Randolph High School volleyball team member Blake Allen told Vermont's WCAX Channel 3 News after team members were banned from their locker room after objecting to sharing the space with a transgender member of the team.
"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."
According to the news outlet, the dispute came about after the transgender teammate "made an inappropriate comment" while the biological girls on the team were changing.
Vermont's education policy is to allow transgender athletes to use whichever locker room corresponds to their gender, meaning the transgender player can use the same locker room as the biological females, the station reported.
Allen told the station that she does not have an issue with having a transgender teammate but is not comfortable using the same locker facilities.
According to the report, the school sent an email to the families saying that there was "plenty of space" where "uncomfortable" team members could change with privacy.
"There are biological boys that go into the girl's bathroom but never a locker room," she said. "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."
While the school investigates the alleged harassment allegation against the transgender team member, the team is not allowed to use the locker room, the report said.
Co-Principal Lisa Floyd sent an email to parents saying that the incident would be investigated and if policies were violated, disciplinary action "consistent with the law" would be taken.
The state's Agency of Education did not respond to the station with a comment for the story, but its posted policy states that "A transgender student should not be required to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with the student's gender identity," the news outlet reported.
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