It’s one thing to make adjustments for trans athletes, then there’s altering common sense on their behalf.
The latest trans athlete controversy is happening at a Vermont high school, with a girls’ volleyball team that took a trans member onto its roster. Initially, the addition of this player was not a problem, but eventually, some issues arose in regard to the locker room situation. There are both expected challenges, as well as the looming possibility of inappropriateness, but the reactions of school officials are what come into the foreground.
The fealty being shown to the trans community continues to be vexing for those afflicted with pragmatism. Yes, there is a desire to see to it that an individual’s comfort and dignity are protected, but what does it say when, as in this case, so much deference is paid to an individual that a collective group is adversely impacted? Instead of a middle ground sought out, it becomes a case of one side being paid full deference.
The problem that arose concerned the girls on the team being forced to change in the locker room with the trans player, and how the girls were made uncomfortable to forfeit their privacy in front of a biological male. When they raised concerns about this, a notice was sent out to parents that officials were looking into charges of bullying and harassment.
The issue of inclusion of a trans member is thorny, but there should be some sober minds who see that these are high school girls, and they are enduring some of the same social indignities as alleged for the trans individual.
The “solution” is yet another step taken from logic. In response to the suggestion that the trans player was on the receiving end of intolerance, although the school officials claimed they were not taking sides on the issue, they took action. It was decided since state law grants a trans athlete to use their preferred locker room, that those made uncomfortable by the presence of the trans athlete in the girls’ locker room would be guided to use an alternate location to prepare for the games.
This means that most if not all of the teammates would be forced to use a small bathroom on campus. So, one team member is granted use of the full locker room, while upwards of 10 players are reduced to sharing a cramped bathroom with one toilet and no showers. How this “solution” gets applied as the team travels to an away contest is not made clear. The lack of common sense extends from there.
While the girls who expressed concern over this condition were regarded as being hostile, one player intimated that the trans teammate may have in fact enflamed the very problem.
Randolph High School volleyball team member Blake Allen said the controversy started after the trans teammate “made an inappropriate comment” to the girls when they were getting changed.
Despite this possibility of having the trans individual provoking the feelings of being uncomfortable, it appears the focus of the administrators is on the balance of the team and forcing comportment upon them. The amazing thing is that in a case like this-without clear-cut norms-the officials are dictating a black-and-white solution.
Therein lies the first step to a departure away from common sense; in order to accommodate one member, an entire team is being forced to endure a level of indignity. This appears as a case where in order to cater to the needs and wants of a trans individual the team members are forced to have their privacy and dignity compromised.
Whether the solution came out of fear of breaking state law, being sued, or falling under the fire of social activism, the school officials just abandoned all common sense. While it would make more sense for the trans individual to be the one to employ the bathroom for game prep, it is surely thought this would be exclusionary and shameful. Instead, the majority of the team is made to suffer those indignities.
At some point in the future, we should start to see common sense seeping into these issues and discussions. Nobody should think that evicting a team in order to grant a lone individual access to a full locker room is anything approaching common sense.