Archive: A Vermont School District Threatened to Suspend Girl After She Complained About a Boy in the Girls’ Locker Room — Now It Must Pay Damages

Originally published in June 2023.

Blake Allen of Vermont was fourteen when she complained about a boy in the girls’ locker room watching her and her volleyball teammates while they changed cloths.

I wrote this in October 2022:

“Ladies, think back to when you were a teenager. The angst. The self-consciousness. The drama. The raging hormones. Imagine you’re changing clothes for gym class (do schools still have gym classes?). A boy you see every day in the hallway decides he wants to be a girl. He informs the school, and the school allows him to start taking gym class with the girls. Without regard to your privacy and sense of modesty, the school allows this boy to be in the girls’ locker room as you’re changing clothes.

“Let’s say this boy starts making comments about you as you undress in front of him. You don’t change your clothes in front of your brother(s), but you now must change in front of some boy who wants to see girls in their underwear and/or expects the world to indulge in his deviant fantasies.”

This is what teenage girls have to face. Blake felt uncomfortable changing in front of the boy and asked him to leave. He took his time about it. When Blake’s father, Travis, a middle school girls’ volleyball coach in the same school district, complained on Facebook about what happened to his daughter and used male pronouns for the boy, the school suspended him.

The school also told Blake to write a letter of apology to the boy or face suspension. Blake refused, and her parents filed a lawsuit on her behalf.

The Daily Signal reported that the school district has settled with Travis Allen and Blake’s mother, Jessica Allen, on her behalf. The money — $125,000 for damages and attorneys’ fees paid by the Vermont School Boards Insurance Trust — is one part of the settlement.

Travis Allen will get his job back, and the school will expunge discipline actions from his and Blake’s records. The school district and officials named in the lawsuit must remove any and all content posted online about the matter, including on bulletin boards at the middle and high schools that depict messages of support for students pretending to be the opposite sex.

Imagine how hard this must have been for a teenage girl, facing peer pressure and hate but nevertheless standing up for what’s right. The school, which refused to protect her and the other girls, had to be shamed into backing off.

Protect our girls! Join us in this fight and help spread the word.

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