Volleyball team’s locker room shut down after teammates ‘bullied and harassed’ trans girl

An image of a girl dressed in sports uniform seen sitting on a bench in a locker room holds her hands over her face like she is crying

A girls’ volleyball team has been banned from their locker room after bullying and harassing their trans teammate.

One of Randolph Union High School’s locker rooms has been shut down while school officials investigate the incident. 

It comes after a trans athlete on the volleyball team, who has not been named, was allegedly harassed by other players.

Local news station WCAX-TV reported on the dispute by interviewing one girl who claimed the trans athlete made “inappropriate comments” while other girls were changing for practice. 

She went on to say the trans athlete shouldn’t be allowed in a girls’ locker room, and claimed other teammates and parents shared her concerns.

The student told WCAX: “My mom wants me to do this interview to try to make a change. 

“I should not have harassment charges or bullying charges. They should all be dropped.”

Following complaints, the school sent out an email explaining that students have “plenty of space where students who feel uncomfortable with the laws may change in privacy.”

In the report, WCAX cited a Vermont Agency of Education memo which states trans students should not be made to use a locker room or restroom that conflicts with their gender identity. 

‘She never really felt unwelcome’

On 28 September the trans girl’s mother, who hasn’t been named, told Vermont publication Seven Days that WCAX’s report made her feel sick. 

Its coverage was also picked up by Fox News and the New York Post.

According to the mother, her daughter was changing in the locker room before volleyball practice when three teammates began to yell at her to get out and stop looking at them. 

She told Seven Days the aggressive comments came as a surprise as “she never really felt unwelcome or like she didn’t belong”.

After the confrontation, her daughter chose to change in a bathroom stall. The mother claims her daughter wasn’t sure if to put her team jersey on so popped her head around the corner to check with teammates only to find they started yelling at her again. 

The volleyball coach overheard the yelling and told the trans student she planned on reporting the incident to the school’s administration. 

Two days later an administrator called the mother to confirm three people reported that her daughter had been bullied and harassed. This launched the investigation meaning the team could not be unsupervised in the locker room. 

Superintendent Millington said the locker room was shut down “to ensure student safety while the investigation is conducted, and the shutdown applies equally to the entire team.” 

The school district has also been forced to disable its website after it was hacked an inundated with “hate speech, symbols and photographs targeting transgender individuals,” Orange Southwest superintendent Layne Millington said. 

Twitter has also picked up the story and corrected many headlines that wrongly blame the trans girl. 

The girl’s mother wrote an email to Roger Garrity, director of WCAX, to say the outlet’s reporting was “aggressive, inaccurate, one-sided, and just altogether ugly”. 

Garrity apologised for the distress the issue was causing the mother and her daughter. 

The trans student also wrote to Garrity to say what was written about her wasn’t truthful. 

She wrote in an email shared with Seven Days: “I am here to inform you that what was written about me is not truthful, I had never made inappropriate comments in the girls’ locker room nor outside of it. That is a lie.”

“News is meant to inform but all you have done is enable lies that not only hurt me, but hurt the transgender youth that are within Randolph and Vermont.”

PinkNews has contacted Randolph Union High School for comment.