By John Klar
A Vermont high school recently banned all girls volleyball players from the school’s changing room after parents complained and one girl spoke to local media. The student at Randolph Union High School, who expressed discomfort from a person with a penis hanging out while the girls changed clothes, is being “investigated” by the school for harassment. Parents who disagreed are also being investigated by the school superintendent, who is policing Facebook posts and issued his own bizarre edict: he called upon his fellow social justice warriors to team up against the concerned families.
Superintendent Layne Millington penned an October 4 screed to the community, in which he vaguely characterized expressions of opposition to the school’s ill-considered actions:
This bout of hatred and bigotry we are experiencing does not represent our town, our district, who we are, or what we stand for, and the district will not stand by as a small number of folks seek to use social media to destroy something as good and special as what’s been created here by a dedicated and caring faculty. I’m asking the community to stand up against the hate, the misinformation, and the folks whose only motivation is causing havoc and generating fear.
This superintendent does not identify what language or statements are hateful, thus targeting in his diatribe any objection by worried parents to the student with a penis leering at their daughters while changing. (The transgender student does not in fact change clothes: ‘they’ just ogle the topless teens). This school official is using public channels to police social media for any undefined opposition to the school’s perverse policy decision in bold violation of constitutional prohibitions against speech content discrimination.
I’m asking the parents and families to take some time and push back: a message on social media, on the Front Porch Forum, a letter to the editor, a story with a reputable statewide news organization is all it takes. Remind the world who we are and what the overwhelming majority in our communities stand for. In most communities I’ve worked in over a very long career, when a small group of people intentionally damage the image of the town or their schools, the town has something to say. Randolph, Brookfield, and Braintree – you need to find your voice
This outrageous behavior by a woke bureaucrat is par for the Layne course. This same tyrannical Superintendent slandered parents who rightly objected to the flying of the BLM flag at the school, claiming their very justifiable constitutional concerns instead reflected racist hate in the community. He prohibited students from wearing shirts that stated “Let’s Go Brandon” or ”There are only two genders.” And he canceled a baseball team fundraisersolely for using Chick-Fil-A chicken (a novel offer because there are no franchises in the Green Mountain State).
Parents and students claim Millington has retaliated against students who question his ideological edicts (or whose parents do), including with biased disciplinary actions and academic opportunities. The school suffers from poor proficiency test scores, but under the rule of Millington has stifled any opposition to the social justice experimentation inflicted on children. Not even national outrage over this ridiculous locker room decision will curb his efforts at domination: he has grown accustomed to lording it over the community with his blatant efforts at thought domination.
Even before this kingly call to arms by clueless Superintendent Millington, Caitlin Jenner unequivocally proclaimed that
We cannot have biological boys with penises changing next to our daughters in locker rooms, and then have our daughters scolded by the school. This is so backwards. Shame on Vermont!
But Layne Millington seemingly has no shame.
Millington’s effort to rally his Social Justice Warriors to target parents does not define what “hatred and bigotry” he is asking them to attack, while impugning the motives of all conscientious objectors as “folks whose only motivation is causing havoc and generating fear.” But Layne has the shoe on the wrong bureaucratic foot, as he abusively projects onto the community. If rightly concerned parents question having a penis-born child gaping at their topless adolescents while they change clothes, they are bigots. If they defend the girl who expressed discomfort at this behavior, they are labeled hateful. There is no delineation of what speech this public official seeks to quell, and he has a long history of precisely this abusiveness.
This case becomes more bizarre each day, as Millington circles the cult wagonsand barricades the free speech doors. But the community has had enough of this bullying. Many parents are aware of where the hate and bigotry truly reside, and they know what their constitutional rights are. They are consulting with attorneys and preparing to charge this ideological citadel. (An existing petition for Millington’s resignation has gained renewed circulation.)
Parents in Vermont will, like all informed Americans, protect their daughters. Layne Millington should resign quickly, and flee the accountability he so desperately fights to avoid. Then perhaps normalcy – teaching math instead of extremist political radicalization – can be restored to this long-beleaguered school.
John Klar is an attorney and farmer residing in Brookfield. This commentary originally appeared at American Thinker.