Maine school provided chest binders to 13-year-old girl without parental notice

by Jacob Fuller

Lauren C. Moye, FISM News

Amber Lavigne, a Maine mom, is demanding answers and accountability from a school district that provided her 13-year-old daughter with chest binders and then encouraged the student not to share her gender dysphoria with her parents.

Lavigne is a mom of a now-former student at Great Salt Bay Community School. She discovered a chest binder in her daughter’s belongings in December, the Goldwater Institute shared.

“What the Newcastle mom discovered shocked her: a school social worker who Amber’s daughter began seeing in October gave the child the chest binder and had secretly been advising her about gender transitioning. Making matters worse, the social worker told Amber’s daughter the school wasn’t going to inform her parents about any of it, and that the girl didn’t need to do so either,” the press release from the constitutional rights think tank and legal firm states.

Lavigne said that she contacted school administrators regarding the actions of Samuel Roy, who was hired at the school on a conditional social worker’s license. However, the administrators not only defended Roy’s actions but also revealed they had been calling the female student by an alternate name and pronouns.

The mom later attended a Dec. 14 school board meeting where she publicly repeated her concerns. ‘

Samuel Belknap III, the education board chair for the district, issued a Dec. 19 memo stating they followed Maine law to protect the rights of their students and dismissed Lavigne’s testimony as “rumors and allegations.”

“While it is unfortunate that some individuals have sought to use this issue to try and divide our community, as a Board, we are committed not only to following Maine law but also honoring our school’s core values, and focusing on treating each other with dignity and respect,” Belknap said in the memo.

The Goldwater Institute later picked up the mom’s case as her official legal representative.

“After speaking with Ms. Lavigne and reviewing the relevant laws, we believe that these decisions violated Ms. Lavigne’s fundamental constitutional right to control and direct the education, upbringing, and healthcare decisions of her daughter, as protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,” Adam Shelton, one attorney for the firm, stated in a letter to Belknap sent on Feb. 1.

Shelton also rejected the idea that the school followed its own policy, which implies that parents will be included in all decisions regarding the transitioning of a gender dysphoric student.

Finally, even if secrecy was required by law, Shelton warned that “such secrecy would still violate Ms. Lavigne’s constitutional rights” as a parent to guide her child and make healthcare decisions.

The Goldwater Institute is demanding a full investigation into Roy’s actions by providing chest binders to a student. They have also requested immediate clarification of their policies involving transgender students.

“This is unacceptable: a school employee secretly encouraged my daughter to change her gender and hide it from me,” Lavigne stated. “The school never stopped trying to keep me in the dark at every turn, repeatedly stonewalling me when I tried to find out what was going on. My parental rights aren’t up for debate: I deserve to know what’s happening to my child in school.”