NATIONAL REVIEW – It was early December when Amber Lavigne found her 13-year-old daughter’s chest binder.
The undergarment, used to flatten a female’s breasts to make her appear more like a male, looked like a tank top with a built-in bra, Lavigne said. And it smelled. Bad. In her efforts to hide it from her family, Lavigne’s daughter hadn’t put the binder in the laundry for weeks.
That night, when Lavigne picked her daughter up from a school dance, she asked if she was wearing a chest binder.
She wasn’t, the girl said, but she admitted she had one. Where had she gotten it? From a friend, she claimed. Lavigne was skeptical.
“I want you to think long and hard if there’s anything else you want to share with me about this,” she said she told her daughter, “because I am going to reach out to your friend’s mom.”
Later that night, Lavigne’s daughter did have more to share. She hadn’t received the chest binder from a friend after all. “This came from my school,” she said, Lavigne recalled.
Lavigne would later learn that earlier in the year, without her knowledge, her daughter had been reassigned to a new social worker at Great Salt Bay Community School in Maine.
This social worker, she learned, had been advising her daughter about gender transitioning. He had provided her daughter with the chest binder, telling the girl that he wouldn’t tell her mother, and she didn’t need to either.
She also learned that school personnel had been involved in socially transitioning her daughter, referring to her by a new name and by male pronouns.
No one had bothered to notify Lavigne.
Lavigne demanded answers, but for the most part, she said, school district leaders and school-board members have been defensive and evasive …