WCAX pulls Randolph locker room story, will ‘publicly acknowledge the damage done’

By Guy Page

In Vermont, the winds of cancellation and censorship are blowing hard against news coverage of the complaint by members of the Randolph volleyball team that a biological male teammate identifying as a girl dressed privately and then watched them change their clothes in the school locker room.

For example, WCAX, the state’s leading television news station, has withdrawn from its website the September 30 news report that broke the story, News Director Roger Garrity confirmed Thursday night to Vermont Daily Chronicle.


WCAX News Director Roger Garrity

The story was not consigned to the digital memory hole due to factual inaccuracy. “We believe our story was accurate,” Garrity said. WCAX pulled the story in an effort, Garrity said, to prevent harm to transgender students.

“I made the decision to take down the story so that others could not continue to use our reporting to attack a teen and her family and other transgender people,” Garrity told Vermont Daily Chronicle.

WCAX’s initial story was linked to and/or cited by Fox News and other media (including Vermont Daily Chronicle). Seven Days characterized the snowballing news story this way: “In the days that followed, right-wing news outlets including Fox News, the New York Post, and OutKick parroted the WCAX report and turned it into viral clickbait.”

Seven Days reports that the biological male identifying as a girl has felt supported in school but has received “unwelcome messages” on social media: “Throughout the saga, school administrators, teachers and counselors have been extremely supportive of her daughter, the mother said. However, she’s received unwelcome messages from community members on Facebook.”

Asked if the decision was influenced by corporate pressure from the station’s owners or from transgender rights supporters Outright Vermont and the ACLU-VT, Garrity gave a one-word answer: “No.”

Finally, Garrity said the story (before it was pulled) “reveals a shortcoming in state policy that has the potential to create conflict.”

Mainstream news coverage of the locker room conflict since the WCAX report has essentially ‘flipped the script.’ VTDigger, for example, has focused on the hacking of the school website (also taken down due to actions by ‘transphobic’ hackers, school officials say), and the biological male student’s mother’s insistence that her child was victimized by hateful girls. School officials have confirmed the locker room is now off limits to everyone on the team, and say they are looking into charges of bullying and harassment — which the girls say they are the target of, because they complained first to the biological male and then to the school.

The girls’ volleyball team’s concerns seem of little news value to both VTDigger and Seven Days.  Their coverage lacks any quotes from them. However, quotes from the transgender student’s mother and Supt. Layne Millington are abundant. A VTDigger headline called the follow-up news coverage ‘transphobic.’

If Seven Days and VTDigger had quoted the students, their readers might have heard illuminating first-person accounts, such as provided by Kayla, age 15, to the Daily Signal (1:17 on the video):

“I was the first one inside the locker room at the time. The trans student came in and walked into a separate part of the locker room and went and changed, while the other girls were in the main part of the locker room changing as well. As soon as the trans identifying student was done changing, they came out and stood at the entrance of the locker room for a little bit. A lot of the girls were changing in their sports bras and stuff. A lot of us stated, like, ‘can you please get out, we’re changing, we don’t feel comfortable with you in here.’ After a little while the student did leave, but it took a little bit for the student to leave. And a lot of us were not comfortable with that situation. It’s happened before, and so we just wanted it to be changed. Really.” – Sophomore Kayla, 15

Instead, VT Digger quoted a Northeastern University journalism professor as saying that the news value of reporting the story didn’t justify the harm caused to the transgender student.

WPTZ, Fox 44, Vermont Public (formerly VPR), the Burlington Free Press, and the Associated Press have yet to cover the story at all, according to an online search.

Working with LGBTQ advocates, WCAX to publicly ‘acknowledge the harm that was caused’ – Earlier this week, Seven Days reported that WCAX will – guided by LGBTQ advocacy groups – publicly acknowledge the damage done by its news story. “We are now working with LGBTQ advocates on a message to the community acknowledging the harm that was caused,” Seven Days quotes Garrity as saying.

It is uncommon for news organizations to pull news stories, and even more uncommon to assert damage despite standing by the accuracy of the details.

As reported by the Daily Signal, the girls and parents of the Randolph Union High School volleyball team demand their right to speak out when they feel threatened. Their claims echo the ethic of the “Believe Women” movement that reached its peak during the nomination hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh but was already in full swing as women came forward to challenge famous, influential men for sexual abuse.

“When we say ‘believe women,’ it’s for this explicit intention of making sure there’s space for all women to come forward to speak their truth, to be heard,” New York U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Images courtesy of The Daily Signal and WCAX

12 thoughts on “WCAX pulls Randolph locker room story, will ‘publicly acknowledge the damage done’

  1. What about the harm to the girls?? WCAX cannot be concerned only for the rights of the transgender student. What about the girls?? When rights collide, the activists and media never side with the facts, or the more conservative position, imho, just the woke agenda.

  2. Just curious who’s gonna be accountable for when something bad happens? Seriously!! Is it gonna be the parents, school officials, or the legislation? It think all. There’s a fine line between acceptance and ignorance and it’s being crossed. No one said the person couldn’t play on the team. Just not watch the girls change since you have a penis. Pretty simple and fair. How about someone report how in Virginia, I believe, this had already happened. As a result 2 girls in different schools were rape by a similar student “identifying “. They brushed off the first incident and just sent him to a different school. It’s not being hateful or ignorant or anything else but protecting our daughters. That’s it. If you have a penis your not allowed around the girls while they’re changing or going to the bathroom. How is that so difficult?

  3. Dear WCAX. The truth hurts. Get over it. This is not transphobia. It is a legitimate concern for the girl’s safety, but you know don’t want to cover this very real and extremely important conflict. What are you for then ??? Huh, Roger ? I have watched you for years, but now that you are taking this tack, you can go somewhere else. You are no longer here for all of Vermont. Shame on you.

  4. WCAX is just another ” WOKE ” so-called news agency…….agenda driven nonsense
    and talking points, no news just propaganda for the left…………….pretty pathetic !!

    • Well, that should come as no surprise…that WCAX is perceived as leftist with their media angle and Democrat “talking point” stories.. WCAX is an “affiliate” station of the CBS Network :)…and WCAX uses a lot of the CBS “programming” 🙂

  5. Victimized by hateful girls…..welcome to being a woman. Too funny. Both sides have their pluses and minuses…..

    Wait until they start savaging her for her looks. She ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  6. WCAX has quite a history of broadcasting going back to the dawn of radio in Vermont and with television service since 1954. Stuart (Red) Martin and family owned and ran the operation for 62 years. They were the last major network affiliate in the US to be privately owned but have since sold out to a major media corporation. Red’s son Peter gradually took over operations and brought the news operation and persona deep into the woke zone. This “flipping of the script” in the Randolph HS story is clever and insidious and is the perfect example of how our major media players no longer report the facts to provide information, but instead to mold public sentiment and opinion in the interest of social engineering. Broadcasters who are granted a license for pumping out a million watts of power into the air and through our bodies have an obligation to do so with some level of social responsibility. Unfortunately there seems to be some divide these days as to how to define “social responsibility”.
    Red Martin must be rolling in his grave.

    • Maybe someone can list the five largest and constant advertisers on WCAX…then let customer phone calls commence.. I will guess that the Shelburne Rd mega car dealers are large adverisers WCAX.. and let them know you can take your business elsewhere….like the Lamoillle Valley mega dealer in Hardwick, or other mega car dealers in Barre/Montpelier/ Berlin. I also bet some large furniture stores in BTV advertise heavy on WCAX. Just tell them you now prefer to patronize Non-Political & Non-PC advertising ….with online stores, like Wayfair.com. Liberals, Democrats & Progressives often threaten to boycott, organize picket lines & placards on businesses they “hate”…. It is the standard Democrat media playbook. So, what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander?

  7. Maybe it is time to do what Dems & Progressives do…which is boycott & threaten you. I can’t watch WCAX. But if indeed, WCAX is another biased media biased Democrat operative outlet…..then, BTV is a small place.. Just see who the largest advertisers are on WCAX and if dozens of people call those advertisers and threaten to boycott thier business… it will get back to WCAX mgmt. Because without advertisers, WCAX is broke.. I’d guess that all the “mega car dealers” on Shelburne Rd are very big WCAX advertisers?. Hey, call em’ and explain that their money is enabling WACX liberal bias. and you don’t agree with that and it reflects on how I think of your car dealership…. and maybe not to patronize them, if this is who they monitarily support..

    Libs, Dems and Progressives threaten (and do) boycotts all the time. So why can’t others follow same playbook? The old “double standard”? They can – but you can’t?

  8. When are people going to acknowledge there are only two genders, that can’t be changed, and those who think they can have a mental disorder. The stations should hire a few people who are liberal idiots and are willing to tell the truth.

  9. WCAX is no longer “Vermont’s most trusted news source” As networks declare similar slogans: “CNN, the most trusted name in news” and FOX “More Americans trust Fox News than any other news network.” False advertising. There are many examples of their “woke” slanted broadcasting and advertising. They are a propaganda machine and no different than other fake news media – they all read from the same script. They should be ashamed, but they sold their souls and with that, any shame or resemblance of conscience or integrity is mute.

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