Vermont family accuses school district of retaliating against them over opinion on biological male in girls’ locker room

By Mary Margaret Olohan | The Daily Signal

A Vermont school district punished both 14-year-old Blake Allen and her father for stating that a biologically male student who identifies as a transgender girl is male. Now the Allens are suing the school district — and accusing it of retaliating against their family for speaking out.

Represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, Travis and Jessica Allen alleged in a lawsuit filed Thursday in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont that Travis and Blake “were punished for expressing their view on a matter of profound public concern: whether a teenage male who identifies as female should be permitted to change in a girls’ locker room regardless of the discomfort experienced by the girls in that room.”

The Allen Family

Travis Allen and his daughter Blake have faced repercussions from speaking out against a biological boy being in the girls’ locker room at Blake’s school.

“In objecting to a male being in the room while the girls are changing, Travis and Blake each made comments underscoring that the trans-identifying student is in fact a male, including by using male pronouns,” said the lawsuit, which was first obtained by The Daily Signal. “Indeed, their view of the student’s maleness was foundational to their opinions on appropriate use of the locker room.”

“Yet, their remarks were too much for Defendants’ transgender orthodoxy—Travis was deemed to have ‘misgendered’ the student, while Blake was found guilty of ‘harassment’ and ‘bullying’—so Defendants disciplined both of them.”

Superintendent Layne Millington, co-principals Lisa Floyd and Caty Sutton, and the Orange Southwest School District Board are state actors and “violate the First Amendment” by attempting to dictate “what may be said on matters of public concern,” the lawsuit said, noting that these school district officials also cannot discriminate against speech on the basis of its viewpoint.

“Yet, that is exactly what happened here,” the filing states. “Defendants punished Travis and Blake for saying that a male is a male, as a matter of sex and biology, regardless of the gender identity that the male has assumed.”

The Daily Signal first reported that Travis Allen has been suspended without pay from his job as the Randolph Union Middle School girls soccer coach for calling the trans-identifying student a male. His suspension followed a Daily Signal video and report highlighting Blake’s discomfort at a biological male using her locker room while she was changing. Jessica Allen also spoke out in the video.

Several of Blake’s fellow female students who spoke with The Daily Signal shared they asked the student to leave, but said the student did not immediately do so. The girls said that the student stood in the corner and looked at them while they were changing, causing them to feel uncomfortable.

The trans-identifying student’s guardian told The Daily Signal that her child is a girl, belongs in girls’ spaces, and did not behave inappropriately.

“A male was in our locker room when volleyball girls were trying to get changed,” Blake said in the mid-October interview. “And after I asked him to leave, he didn’t, and later looked over at girls with their shirts off. And it made many people uncomfortable and feel violated. And I left as soon as I could in a panic.”

“It’s not fully the trans student’s fault,” she added. “It is much more the school board’s fault and they’re failing everyone. Not just the volleyball team, not the transgender student. They did nothing to help this situation. They still aren’t. They just want people to be in trouble and they’re not trying to help make a change.”

According to the lawsuit, the trans-identifying student repeatedly made remarks like “I am going to f—ing kill Blake Allen” and “I’m gonna f—ng kill somebody” after Blake spoke up about the matter.

School officials reportedly deemed the threats low-risk (The Daily Signal previously pressed the school on these alleged threats without direct response) and “no action as taken” against the student, according to the lawsuit.

Blake’s high school, Randolph Union High School, concluded its investigation into the incident in the locker room on Oct. 14, according to the lawsuit. She was not offered an opportunity to “present evidence or otherwise defend herself,” and the family was not informed of the school’s decision to suspend Blake until Oct. 21, according to the suit, though the school knew that Blake and the trans-identifying student would be playing in multiple volleyball games together.

In its Oct. 21 notification, the school reportedly told the Allens that Blake had violated its Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying policy and must serve a two-day out of school suspension, write an essay, and take part in a “restorative circle” with the school’s equity coordinator “and at least two students who can help her understand the rights of students to access public accommodations.”

If Blake’s required essay is found to be “lacking good faith” by the school, she would have to serve an additional three days’ out of school suspension, the lawsuit said.

ADF told The Daily Signal on Thursday that the school lifted Blake’s suspension shortly after the lawsuit was filed. It is not immediately clear whether the school was aware the lawsuit was filed when it lifted Blake’s suspension.

The school district also demanded that Travis Allen apologize publicly, The Daily Signal previously reported. The father’s refusal resulted in his suspension.

“When he asked me to publicly apologize, I thought about it,” Travis Allen said earlier this month. “I did pause and waited a few seconds. And I’m thinking, ‘If I say that I’ll apologize, I’ll be able to coach my youngest daughter for the rest of the season, but I’m going to, in turn, hurt my other daughter, because I’m not standing up for what we believe in, I’m just cowing to them like so many other people have done. And I just can’t do that.’”

Allen also said in a previous interview with The Daily Signal that neither he nor his family were seeking attention through their actions, adding: “We’re a family that pretty much goes with the flow. And this time we just couldn’t do it.”

In a Thursday statement to The Daily Signal, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Phil Sechler emphasized that “all Blake and Travis did, in discussing whether males should be in the girls’ locker room, is point out that a transgender student is in fact a male and it cost Travis his coaching position and got Blake suspended from school.”

“No one should lose their job or get suspended from school for voicing their opinion or calling a male a male—when one person is silenced for speaking freely, everyone’s rights are threatened,” Sechler said.

The Allens are not the only family in the Randolph, Vermont, community that has expressed frustration with the school district’s handling of the situation.

Multiple parents who spoke with The Daily Signal said that they are outraged that the school district and the high school would allow such an incident to even occur—they don’t want biological boys in their daughters’ locker rooms, and they are bewildered as to why the school system is apparently prioritizing the needs of students who identify as transgender over their daughters. They also strongly pushed back against allegations that speaking up is hateful.

“I feel it’s not the place for them,” said Eric Messier, the father of another volleyball player who spoke with The Daily Signal, referring to biological males using the girls’ locker room.

“All that matters is she’s uncomfortable. It’s pretty simple,” he added.

Blake previously shared with The Daily Signal that she does not regret speaking out.

I’m glad I spoke out because there’s still so much that could be done, that the law could be changed, because now it’s national news,” she said, adding of the trans-identifying student, “He had the right to go in, but once we said we were uncomfortable, he should have just left. It should have been that simple.”

“I don’t want other girls to have to feel uncomfortable about it,” Blake added. “I think everyone should be able to just get changed in a locker room that they were born as. If you were born a girl, you can go in the girls’ locker room, get out when you’re done. It should be simple and it’s not anymore.”

Image courtesy of The Allen Family
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18 thoughts on “Vermont family accuses school district of retaliating against them over opinion on biological male in girls’ locker room

  1. Remember the theme song from TV’s All In The Family (“Those Were The Days”)? Part of the lyrics were “…and you knew who you were then: “goils” were “goils” and men were men.” How far we’ve fallen from biological truth and common sense. Stand strong Travis and Blake!

  2. I am so happy to read about this family. It is outrageous how things are happening in this once fabulous country. We law abiding citizens have absolutely no voice. The only thing I can think of is what happened in Germany how they shut everything down and people couldn’t speak and neighbor reported on neighbors. Vermont get with it and look around wake up. FIGHT FOR THIS FAMILY and whom ever may follow with a similar problem.

    • there will be large swaths of leaders, organizations that will say nothing…..

      political….nothing
      science nothing
      church nothing
      general public would say something but completely censored and fearful of cancel culture
      press busy spinning propaganda

      These organizations have been subverted…..and it is why they are silent. It is a much broader issue than most are willing to admit, it’s staggering…..

      There is a way out, truth and love…..it’s a wonderful path….

  3. It really comes down to WHOSE COMFORT AND FEELINGS ARE BEING PRIORITIZED? The established norm is that we as a society have endorsed gender/sex separation in certain venues, such as changing facilities, public restrooms, certain athletic activities and the prison system. This segregation has always been based on ANATOMY NOT PSYCHOLOGY and has typically been done for comfort and safety of females. Historically, we dont have homosexual men use the women’s bathroom based on who they are attracted to and we dont allow homosexual woman to use the men’s room. ANATOMY for these venues has always been the standard. We dont make exceptions for homosexuals, so why should we make exceptions for the “gender”-confused/non-binary? OK, those stick figures on the doors of the person wearing the dress are stereotypical and anachronistic, and a diagram of a penis or vulva may be in appropriately graphic so how about the little circular symbols that science uses…you know the science that we are supposed to be guided by…

  4. Let the girls use a girls locker room. Let the boys use a boys locker room. Let everyone else who identifies as something else use a separate locker room, the teachers bathroom, or teachers lounge to change in. Let the teachers deal with the mess they are helping to create. The girls should not have to deal with this sexual exploitation.

  5. All a voyeur or peeping tom has to do is say, “I’m trans” and it’s legal? I”m feeling bi-sexual today, my penis is not male today….it’s female.

    So we need to get rid of all mens and womens locker rooms then? There can be no indecent exposure laws any more? Having sex is just a service…..a legal one, like making a sandwich? So rape is now just petty theft (depending upon the price)?

    Yeah….and they won’t allow the 10 commandments in school…..How far we’ve come that modesty and waiting for sex until marriage is no longer part of daily discussions.

    they are driving us into the gutter…

  6. To put it plainly:
    Q: How many teenage girls want a male schoolmate to see them in their panties?
    A: Very, very few.
    Q: How many teenage boys want to see teenage girls in their panties?
    A: Ver, very many.

    • It’s all about the location and the girls body. self image and what they are engaged in. What are girls wearing on the beach? Not much different than bra and panties.

  7. “Gays Against Grooming.” https://www.gaysagainstgroomers.com/about

    Here’s what their website says:

    “Our community that once preached love and acceptance of others has been hijacked by radical activists who are now pushing extreme concepts onto society, specifically targeting children in recent years.

    ​”The overwhelming majority of gay people are against what the community has transformed into, and we do not accept the political movement pushing their agenda in our name.

    “Gays Against Groomers directly opposes the sexualization and indoctrination of children. This includes drag queen story hours, drag shows involving children, the transitioning and medicalization of minors, and gender theory being taught in the classroom.”

    There’s also an interesting video on Rumble, “What is a Woman?” (one hour 35 minutes.) In one interview of a trans adult, the regret expressed by this woman who became a man was poignant: “I will never be a man.” No, because no matter how many surgeries or chemicals one takes, it doesn’t work that way.

    The people pushing this on our children are sick and the ones allowing it to go on are blinded by the irrational indoctrination opposed by groups like “Gays Against Groomers.”

    If men want to act feminine and sensitive, then this has been going for time eternal. Woman who want to be tomboys or wear pants are likewise eternal. But butchering children’s biology in the name of misguided “correctness” is something only someone like Klaus Schwab could’ve dreamed up, and violating the safe space of young women and calling it “justice” is something only those blinded by an intellectually crippling ideology could dream up, wherein left is right and good is bad and boys are girls.

    Heaven help us if this insanity continues.

    Jim1

  8. The libs have no idea that this story is national news because they live in their own little world. I’ve seen coverage on Fox, Newsmax, OAN, along with Youtube. I have a friend in Houston who saw it on a local news station. He thinks VT is trying to out do CA. Just passing it on.

  9. The “trans-identifying student” has all of his genitals and was gaping at the girls. Isn’t that enough to have him kicked out of the locker room? This is a freedom of speech matter as much as anything else and, with the right legal ammunition, they should win the lawsuit.

    • Just think how much more the administration would protect the trans rights to the locker room if (s)he comes out as a lesbian.

  10. Take it to court, and hit them hard for big $$$, this is what happens when you have
    liberals in charge of anything………………..

    Girls will be Girls and Boys will be Boys, unless you a tristed liberal !!

  11. Lord I sure hope they win the lawsuit. No young lady should be forced to undress and change in front of a male. I do not care what someone “identifies” as, biology is biology.

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