A Maine mom is calling on the school board of the Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta to investigate the school’s social worker for encouraging her 13-year-old daughter to transition into a boy — a gender transition the social worker asked the girl to keep secret from her parents.
“This is unacceptable: a school employee secretly encouraged my daughter to change her gender and hide it from me,” said Amber Lavigne, the girl’s mother.
“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,” she said. “My parental rights aren’t up for debate: I deserve to know what’s happening to my child in school.”
Lavigne only learned that the school was secretly transitioning her daughter’s gender when she discovered a breast binder in the girl’s bedroom.
The breast binder, which is a device used to conceal a female’s breasts, was given to the girl by 26-year-old social worker Samuel Roy, a UMaine grad student with a conditional license to practice social work in Maine.
Damariscotta Superintendent Lynsey Johnston has so far stood by Roy, telling the Maine Wire last month that Roy remains an employee of the district.
The conservative Goldwater Institute is now advocating on Lavigne’s behalf, writing in a press release that it believes the school’s actions concerning Lavigne’s daughter were unconstitutional.
“The Goldwater Institute is defending Amber’s parental rights, demanding the school board investigate the counselor’s actions and calling on the school to adopt a policy requiring it—at a minimum—to inform parents of any decision that affects their children’s mental health or physical wellbeing,” Goldwater staff attorney Adam Shelton wrote in a press release. “This includes attempts to “socially transition” children or provide them with chest binders.”
Shelton said the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the fundamental right of parents to control their children’s education and healthcare decisions.
“The school’s actions toward Amber and her daughter aren’t just wrong—they’re unconstitutional,” he said.
The school board is unlikely to investigate Roy’s actions, considering school officials have signalled on multiple occasions that they don’t believe the social worker erred.
Johnston and school board chair Samuel Belknap III have attacked journalists for reporting on Roy’s actions, accusing the Maine Wire — without evidence — of inciting terroristic threats against the school.