14-year-old reacts to being punished for speaking out against ‘penis in the locker room’

A student-athlete who has been ridiculed and punished for not conforming to her Vermont school district’s transgender politics penned an op-ed for Fox News saying her school “made me the bad guy for saying that a teenage male shouldn’t be allowed to watch us girls undress.”

Blake Allen, who was initially suspended from Randolph Union High School for voicing concerns about sharing a locker room with a transgender student, and her father Travis Allen are suing the school and the district, claiming they prioritized gender identity over student safety.

“The controversy … started when the school allowed a male who identifies as a girl to compete on our girls’ volleyball team,” Blake wrote for Fox News. “When the male student entered our locker room, we were changing. Some of us didn’t have a shirt on; others of us were only in our underwear. Naturally, some of us were uncomfortable and asked the student to leave, but we were ignored.”

Feeling very unsafe in the situation, Blake called her mother, who rallied several other parents and they approached the school administration.

“Not only did school officials make no attempt to provide us with any support or a workable solution, they made me the bad guy for saying that a teenage male shouldn’t be allowed to watch us girls undress,” Blake said. “As a girl, I was taught to respect the privacy of my body, and to speak up if I felt unsafe or if something made me feel uncomfortable. Now I’m 14 and shocked to learn not all adults take you seriously when you say you don’t feel safe or comfortable. In fact, they may even punish you for speaking out.”

Blake discussed the incident with her peers in French class, concerned that her teammates were not being heard.

“Someone overheard me telling my friends that a dude doesn’t belong in the girls’ locker room, and they reported me to the co-principals, even though the male student didn’t hear me and wasn’t in the class,” Blake wrote. “The school began an investigation into the comments I made in class and banned our entire girls’ volleyball team from using the girls’ locker room.”

The administration informed the student-athlete that she had been found guilty of harassment and bullying “a student on the basis of the targeted student’s gender identity,” requiring out-of-school suspension, participation in a “restorative justice circle” and submission of a “reflective essay.”

Travis Allen was suspended without pay from his role as Randolph Union Middle School soccer coach after standing up for his daughter on social media, writing “He got a free show, they got violated.”

“I made a social media post and referred to the male student as a male, and I was punished because I misgendered him,” he said. “If your kids are not comfortable, then you need to speak up for them. That’s what we’re here for. We’re parents. We’re here to protect them.”

The day the Allens filed suit against the Orange Southwest School District, Blake’s suspension was lifted but her father’s punishment stands.

“He expressed his views on a Facebook post, calling out the injustice of the male student being allowed to use our locker room and watch my teammates and I undress,” Blake said. “And he was suspended from his position as the middle school girls’ soccer coach. So, my dad joined the lawsuit challenging the school’s unjust retaliation against us for speaking freely — for speaking truth.”

Orange Southwest Unified School District Superintendent Layne Millington accused Travis of misgendering the student on purpose, claiming the post was made out of spite and not because the district was trying to “shove their false ideology down everyone’s throat.”

“Such conduct is unprofessional and unbecoming, and flies in the face of the Vermont Principal Association’s athletic regulations, Vermont State regulations, and the RUHS Middle-High School expectations,” Millington said.

Tyson Langhofer, with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian legal advocacy group spearheading the suit said “Blake shouldn’t be forced to change in front of a male or watch a male change. They’re trying to force their ideology down everybody’s throat and then punish anybody that has a different viewpoint. That’s unconstitutional.”

Langhofer is glad the school reversed its decision on Blake but said the district still needs to make amends to Travis, and that the district’s retribution must be remedied.

“The first amendment doesn’t allow you to retaliate just because you expressed an opinion that the government disagrees with,” Langhofer said. “I think that’s what’s really wrong here. They are punishing  Blake and Travis for simply having a different opinion and they are really trying to shove their false ideology down everyone’s throat. That’s wrong and it’s unconstitutional.”

Blake said many of her fellow classmates support her speaking out and have quietly stood by her but some are afraid to voice vocal support for fear of retribution.

According to the lawsuit, the school turned a blind eye to “death threats” made against Blake by the transgender student, who said after the locker room incident “I’m going to f***ing kill Blake Allen.”

“I’m a private person when it comes to my body, even in the safety and comfort of home,” Blake said. “But at school, apparently there’s no problem with a male student freely watching us girls change our clothes.”

Blake is dumbfounded by the district’s response to her discomfort and complete lack of response to the transgender student’s threats.

“Instead of sticking up for the safety and privacy of girls, the school administrators are sticking to their preferred view of gender identity and will unfairly target anyone who dares to think differently,” Blake said. “The school must respect my dad’s and my free speech rights to express a commonsense view that this student is male and shouldn’t be allowed in the girls’ locker room.”

“It’s school officials’ job to ensure every student feels safe at school. And it’s their job to listen to and respect our views, not silence us for speaking out to defend ourselves,” Blake continued.


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