Snohomish School District Adopts Radical Changes to Gender Policy, Parental Rights

 

Parental rights and student privacy suffered another setback Wednesday night when the Snohomish School District voted 6-0 to change its policy on how its schools manage student gender identity issues.

The school board voted in favor of opening up all locker rooms, showers, changing facilities, and bathrooms to students of any gender or biological sex.  You can read the entire policy change here.

Furthermore, the district will not be notifying students or their parents about other students’ usage of the facilities, in an effort to protect the privacy of those students.  This means that young girls will not be notified that a biological male plans to use the same showers and changing areas as they do, and parents will be left unaware that biological males may be showering or dressing with their daughters.

As it stands now, the policy requires no medical proof for being “transgender,” nor is there a requirement that a student must observe a trans- identity at all times.

Additionally, “The District will provide all students the opportunity to participate in physical education and athletic programs and opportunities in a manner that is consistent with their gender identities,” according to the policy document adopted by the school board.  The decision comes after students in Alaska voiced their frustration after a biological male won third and fifth place in events at the girls’ state track championships.

This policy change also undermines parental rights.  Though the school district’s procedures allow for contacting and involving a gender transitioning student’s parents when the student permits, or when it is legally necessary to do so, parents may be left out of the process altogether.  A student who begins to identify as the other gender will be given “support” by school officials, with or without the involvement of the student’s parents.

Furthermore, school officials will now use the student’s preferred name and gender, regardless of whether parents are notified or what gender is listed on official documents like birth certificates.  The purpose of these changes, according to the district, is “to maximize the student’s social integration and equal opportunity to participate in social, athletic and academic opportunities, ensure the student’s safety, modesty and comfort, and minimize stigmatization.”

What about the safety, modesty, and comfort of females who will now be unwittingly showering and changing with biological males? By changing their policies to ensure the “comfort” of transgender students, the school district is sacrificing the privacy of the vast majority of students who are uncomfortable with the idea of showering and changing with students of the other biological sex.

What happened yesterday at the Snohomish School District meeting should function as a wake up call to parents throughout the state.  It is time to become involved in your child’s school district by attending school board meetings. Find out whether your local school board intends to adopt similar policies, and if so, raise awareness among other parents and share your feelings with your school board.

If this concerns you, or your children, please contact the Snohomish School District immediately and let them know what you think.  Their next meeting is Wednesday, July 27th, at 6:00pm.

Dr. Bill Mester, School Superintendent | 360-563-7280 | bill.mester@sno.wednet.edu

Scott Peacock, Asst. Superintendent of Leadership & Learning | 360-563-7284 | scott.peacock@sno.wednet.edu

School Board Members

Jay Hagen
School Board President
Director District #5: Cathcart, Little Cedars, Totem Falls, Glacier Peak
Phone 360-668-4635
E-mail Mr. Hagen

Leah Hughes-Anderson
School Board Vice President
Director District #2: Cascade View, Emerson, Centennial
Phone 425-308-1252
E-mail Ms. Hughes-Anderson

Shaunna Ballas
Board Member, Foundation Representative
Director District #1: Riverview, Seattle Hill, Snohomish High School
Phone 206-715-0283
E-mail Ms. Ballas

David Johnston
Board Member, WIAA Representative
Director District #4: Central, Valley View, AIM High
Phone 360-568-0228
E-mail Mr. Johnston

Josh Seek
Board Member, Legislative Representative
Director District #3: Dutch Hill, Machias
Phone 425-377-2466
E-mail Mr. Seek

57 replies
  1. jack
    jack says:

    my child attends one of the schools in this district and i totally agree with the board. 4th, 5th and 6th graders do not blink a eye at the fact that a girl or boy is using the bathroom with other girls and boys. the younger students do not know much of anything about the subject.

    Reply
  2. Lorna Kelly
    Lorna Kelly says:

    This choice was pushed through by the Assistant Superintendent, Scott Peacock. He was at the helm. He even hung up a rainbow sign on the front door of the District Office until there were many complaints. I don’t know why he is pushing this. Maybe his own sons are transgender?

    Reply
  3. Bill
    Bill says:

    It is quite apparent that a sexist person wrote this article. The author seems unaware that there is a transgender student that the courts have ruled must be allowed to use the boy’s facilities even though the boys do not want this to occur.

    I like this response on why transgender students should not be required to use family or transgender restrooms that I read on quora. I live in Spain. There is this belief here that LGBT rights are human rights. Everyone who cared about human rights worked together to insure that LGBT people had the same human rights as everyone else.
    In Spain, you can use the public locker rooms and shower facilities as the gender you identify with. You have your doctor diagnosis you with gender dysphoria and that’s all you need. You don’t need to fully transition. You don’t need to look like the gender you identify as. You can get your name legally changed and your birth certificate changed with that diagnosis. Do you know how many people have a problem with this? Pretty much no one except the fascists. Do you know how many men pretending to be women raped women in public toilets? Zero. Yeah, in Spain, the cultural ethos is not that being a man means you’re automatically a potential rapists. It appears to only be the United States where men beat and thump their chests and proudly declare, “I am a potential rapist. I would rape women left and right if I thought I could get away with it. Hear me roar for I am man! I am man and I am the potential rapist you fear!” Yeah, that shit? It doesn’t happen in Spain.
    So let me tell you why a separate facility for transgender students is not an adequate compromise: Human rights. LGBT rights are human rights. Human rights are human rights. Humans should have the right to shower in public facilities designed for the purpose of showering without being unfairly discriminated against because of their gender. Humans should have the right to change their clothes in public facilities designed for this purpose without being unfairly discriminated against because of their gender.
    Repeat it with me: LGBT rights are human rights. LGBT rights are human rights. LGBT rights are human rights.
    This compromise (Family or transgender bathrooms) denies people use of specifically designed public gendered facilities because of their gender which matches the gender of intended use of said facility. It violates human rights. There is no adequate compromise for denying someone’s human rights in this regard. If you wish to deny someone’s human rights, it sucks. The adequate compromise is that when faced with the decision to deny someone their human rights or grant it, the one who is uncomfortable with human rights should use a non-public private facility of their own choosing where they can legally discriminate. It is bad precedent to start carving out exceptions that allow human rights to be violated because other people are uncomfortable with everyone having human rights.

    Reply
  4. SC
    SC says:

    http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/If-there-s-a-sex-offender-student-schools-will-1214840.php
    Just out of curiosity, Snohomish County School District, your new policies do not specifically state that juveniles that are sexual offenders cannot say that they are transgender thus giving them full access to restrooms and locker rooms. How will you address this, as it is know that counties in Washington State including Snohomish has sex offenders in our schools?

    Reply
  5. Mike
    Mike says:

    Dear Snohomish County School Board,

    Was the Gender Policy change based on the results and conclusions of well-defined, peer reviewed studies that outline both the potential positive and negative outcomes from this policy change, the short and long term benefits, and risks to all, regardless of sexual identity?

    While I agree that this issue should be studied further, and is extremely important, I do not believe a thorough enough review of both the positive and negative consequences and outcomes, both intended and unintended, have been considered fully. I do not believe Snohomish County Public Schools is in a position to charter a study, and especially a poorly controlled experiment such as this.

    Clearly, this is an emotionally charged issue. Emotions aside, the Snohomish County School Board is responsible for preparing the young people of Snohomish County, for success. A simple Google search shows that Snohomish County High School has a College Readiness Index Score that is embarrassing.

    Please show us the studies that were completed, and used to assess the economic impact on the School District and where the extra money to provide support staff, curtained off locker room areas, and legal costs that result from prematurely implementing a change based on fear and emotion rather than supported fact and conclusions.

    Existing Snohomish County Guidelines exist for protecting against discrimination and provide for separation of facilities and sports teams based on sex:

    http://www.codepublishing.com/WA/SnohomishCounty/html/SnohomishCounty02/SnohomishCounty02460.html#2.460.160
    Reference Section 2.

    The Snohomish County School Board is acting recklessly and taking unnecessary action.
    “(1) It is unlawful for any person to discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, families with children, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability in the provision or distribution of any county facilities, services, or programs.
    (2) This section shall not affect any otherwise lawful classification that:
    (a) Is based on sex and is necessary for sexual privacy or medical or psychological treatment; or
    (b) Is necessary for undercover law enforcement or for film, video, audio, or theatrical casting;
    (c) Provides for separate athletic teams for each sex; or
    (d) Must be taken to establish or maintain eligibility for any federal or state program, if ineligibility would result in a loss of federal or state funds to the county.
    (Added Amended Ord. 10-021, June 7, 2010, Eff date Aug. 21, 2010; Amended by Amended Ord. 16-034, June 1, 2016, Eff date June 15, 2016).”

    Is the Snohomish County School Board foolishly exposing the Citizens of Snohomish County, the School District, the County, and State to financial liability that results from their hasty decision? Money, that could be used to hire additional educators, and increase the wages of the existing teachers in the district.

    Reference Snohomish County Statute RCW 9A.88.010
    Indecent exposure.
    (1) A person is guilty of indecent exposure if he or she intentionally makes any open and obscene exposure of his or her person or the person of another knowing that such conduct is likely to cause reasonable affront or alarm. The act of breastfeeding or expressing breast milk is not indecent exposure.
    (2)(a) Except as provided in (b) and (c) of this subsection, indecent exposure is a misdemeanor.
    (b) Indecent exposure is a gross misdemeanor on the first offense if the person exposes himself or herself to a person under the age of fourteen years.
    (c) Indecent exposure is a class C felony if the person has previously been convicted under this section or of a sex offense as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.
    [ 2003 c 53 § 92; 2001 c 88 § 2; 1990 c 3 § 904; 1987 c 277 § 1; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.88.010.]

    Does the Snohomish County School Board Policy explicitly define what a person can and cannot consider open and obscene behavior while showering in close proximity with others who are anatomically different?

    Has the school board overstepped, and over committed the valuable and scarce resources of Snohomish County?

    Has this policy change been vetted by legal counsel to identify what potential legal exposures exist and what other policies must be modified or changed prior to this policy being enacted to provide legal safeguards?

    Legally and lovingly, as a parent, I am responsible for the education, health, and welfare of my children. It is my responsibility to successfully navigate them through their teenage years, answer or get answers to their questions, and to support their needs. As a parent, it is my right and duty to raise my children with the morals, and values, that I (as their parent and legal guardian), choose. This is my right.

    I expect you, with support from revenues from the taxes I pay, to educate my children and prepare them for academic success and higher learning. Unfortunately, even that basic expectation, is not being met as evidenced by a simple Google search.

    I sincerely feel compassion for anyone facing gender identity issues. Our teenage years are tough, period.

    However, in closing, decisions like this must not be taken lightly or made in haste. This issue should be studied closely, over a wide area, and over a significant period of time BEFORE policy changes are made. This time will allow us to collect data, that can be used to implement policy changes that work, for everyone, and not fall victim to unintended consequence.

    I support equal rights for all. I do not support this policy change.

    I challenge the School Board to find a solution, to this challenging problem that meets the needs of ALL students, and is based on the results of solid research. Snohomish County Schools should not be the School Boards Experimentation Lab.

    Regards,
    MDL

    Reply
  6. Brad Lachapelle
    Brad Lachapelle says:

    This is not the same school I graduated from in 1990!! Unknown genders need there own private restroom/shower.What is going on in this world? I am embarrassed by are school boards vote!!!

    Reply
    • Evy Rosebrook
      Evy Rosebrook says:

      Me too. Graduated from there in ’64. Such a thing would have never been an issue then. I am horrified by what is happening in our schools and country.

      Reply
  7. Toree
    Toree says:

    I attend to snohomish high. I change and take showers in the locker rooms almost everyday. I would not approve of this at all and neither would any woman. It should be people who attend to our school that vote and speak for this nasty decision. We are not objects, we are woman with body’s that we do not allow men to see without our strong consent. This is showing zero respect for woman. And that is sad our society tody is horrible with body shamming and disrespecting woman for their body and looks. Yes melestations happen by gays but by approving this will only increase the rapes and melestations that happen today, (which is obviously too many) this will be a mistake and it should have never even been a discussion. Men are horrible to woman today, although you mommys may not think so, I go to school with these nasty men. Believe me.

    Reply
  8. Anne
    Anne says:

    I was at the Snohomish School Board meeting when they passed the vote last week. They tried to vote on it back in the Fall without any notice to parents. Parents found out, and the vote was postponed. There were “gender diversity” reprogramming seminars for Parents, and meetings to supposedly address parent concern regarding the policy in months following the initial School Board meeting. Rather than call it a “transgender policy” that were voting on when sending out correspondence to parents, it was called “Gender Diversity”. You had to click on the links in the email from the district to actually know what all this meant. So I am thinking that most parents had no clue what was going down last week. In either case, it was obvious that the school intended to pass the policy, regardless of any opposition. There were plenty of pro-transgender people there, but interesting to note, most of them were out of our district. They were very polished speakers, and not once did the School Board President give them their 15-second warning on the 3 minute limit. Though he made sure to do that for the people who were asking questions about the policy and having reservations. Matter of fact, the SB President angrily gave the 15-second warning to a man taking issue with the now approved policy. So people can write letters all day long to this School District, and it won’t make one difference. You can make a difference by signing the I-1515 petition to let people of Washington vote on re-instituting common sense bathroom and locker room access.

    Reply
    • Janis Colvin
      Janis Colvin says:

      I just moved to Snohomish and I like it here but I am so thankful I don’t have any children in this school system. If I did they would be pulled out & home schooled. Do any of the school board have children in school? I bet not! The people should vote on these things not not a few idiots!
      God this country needs you now!!!🇺🇸🙏

      Reply
      • CLR
        CLR says:

        You bet wrong. At least one of the current school board members has at least one student in the district at the high school level.

        Reply
  9. Michael Card
    Michael Card says:

    What a bunch of perves!

    Parents…if you have any decency….storm the gates!

    Show up at the meeting and throw the perves out!

    Reply
  10. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    My question to all of you… What about the safety of the transgender child? Do you feel the boys in the boys locker room will treat a girl identifying as a boy just like one of the boys? Most likely not going to happen… You are all so worried about boys using this to exploit women and it’s always boys who identify as female but what about those females who identify as boys? The likelyhood of the mainstream boys attack the transgender female is higher than the mainstream girls being attacked by s transgender male. Just saying.

    Reply
  11. Dr. Phil Hartmen
    Dr. Phil Hartmen says:

    This is garbage. Feelings need to be set aside, common (practical) sense is in dire need. This opens up a plethora of potential law suits, which will result in loss of funding.

    Reply
  12. Nancy
    Nancy says:

    Um, yeah. This is full of a lot of misinformation. It’s sad that this world is full of such hateful people. Kudos to the school board for doing the right thing. Shame on people who call themselves Christian and spew hatred and fear.

    Reply
  13. Evan Armstrong
    Evan Armstrong says:

    Carmen,

    Once again you and I must agree to disagree.

    Do You believe in gay marriage?

    Do You believe in LGBT rights?

    Are you voting for Donald Trump?

    You might be on the wrong side of history!

    Do you think god can Can change LGBT to become straight?

    What if one of your four wonderful kids were gay?

    Do you know of any incidences where a child was molested by a gay person in a bathroom?.

    Reply
    • Clark Kent
      Clark Kent says:

      Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is not a shred of valid scientific evidence that a person is born to be homosexual. Also, there is no such thing as ‘gay marriage’; that is like claiming you have a ‘genuine counterfeit’. And by the way, God could CARE LESS about Christians being on the ‘right (or wrong) side of history’ since HE writes history, not us. Nice try; no cigar.

      Reply
      • Bob
        Bob says:

        There is also not a shred of valid scientific evidence that God exists, so…

        Also, there is such thing as gay marriage, welcome to the 21st century.

        Reply
        • Clark Kent
          Clark Kent says:

          Actually, God is the author of science. And God’s word transcends time, so no, there is no ‘gay marriage’. Nice try; no cigar.

          Reply
          • Bob
            Bob says:

            If God is the author of science then why does science prove evolution is reality and religion is fiction?

        • Mike C
          Mike C says:

          To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, “I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge.

          Reply
        • Rob
          Rob says:

          Speaking of Science, your gender is determined by whether or not you have an “x” chromosome. You can’t change that just because you happen to “feel” like something you are not.

          Reply
      • Evan Armstrong
        Evan Armstrong says:

        Why do you and other Xians use all of things you believe in as ordered by god. Their is no scientific evidence there is a god! If Your answer is I believe by faith then I believe in the spaghetti monster

        Reply
        • Teresa
          Teresa says:

          If you are so sure there is no God, then explain to me where human thought, beliefs, opinions, and emotions come from? A chemical reaction? What about the complexities of the human body systems and how they must be perfectly integrated to produce and maintain life? God is right there in front of you and yet you do not see Him because you choose not to. Seek God and you will find Him. Don’t and you won’t.

          Reply
      • Evan Armstrong
        Evan Armstrong says:

        Why is evolution taught in schools and creationism banned. Oh yeh the world was created by god 10,000 years ago. He was so tired he had to rest on the 7th day. Put that in your pipe and smoke it

        Reply
        • Rob
          Rob says:

          Evolution is taught in schools for the same reason school boards think it’s OK for boys and girls to shower together.

          Reply
  14. Carol
    Carol says:

    Parents of Snohomish School District students must speak up, protest, and bombard the school board with letters from their attorneys. Anarchists must not be allowed to desecrate our public schools. If this continues, we are seeing the beginning of the end.

    Reply
    • John
      John says:

      Thanks for the doom and gloom fear mongering. No, it’s not the beginning of the end. I will send an email to my school district representative thanking them for their educated, yet difficult, vote on this subject. Personally knowing a family who is going through this and seeing their struggles has opened my mind. In the end, this Christian family has opted for unconditional love and support of their child. And if you must know, most adolescent transgender children have a great fear of using the public bathrooms, let alone a public shower. You’d know that if you pulled your head out and took time to understand what is truly going on with them.

      Reply
      • Clark Kent
        Clark Kent says:

        And YOU, amigo, need to put your head into the Bible. ‘Unconditional love’ does NOT mean approving sinful behavior. In fact, quite the opposite is true.

        Reply
        • Lawrence
          Lawrence says:

          Is your name really “Clark Kent”? Or is this a way to not be recognized? A Christian should not be afraid.

          Reply
        • Daniel schlyter
          Daniel schlyter says:

          It is not sinful behavior when a biological male who identifies as female uses a shower n the same facility as a female. If he identies as female he has no interest in gawking at females and he is not gay. It is plainly wrong and inappropriate If he were to wave male genitalia around in the female facility or gawk at the girls. That would prove “he” doesn’t identify as female and any teacher or female student would have reason to remove such a person. In actuality, it should be unlikely that the girls would even realize the transgender person is not biologically female unless they gossip about her or gawk at her.

          Reply
      • Emily
        Emily says:

        John, how quickly you have become an expert! Since when is protecting the innocence and safety of children “fear mongering”? You are playing the GROUP SPEAK CARD. You are ignoring that there already have been a number of incidents of non-transgender boys/men using these open bathroom policies in different settings for sexual exploitation in the form of voyeurism, photographing and videotaping women, exposing themselves, and physically going after girls and women to the point of rape. Considering that the liberal mass media is extremely biased, you can be sure there are many more abuses of this bathroom “privilege” which have been suppressed from being reported. If transgender teens are so fearful, then why couldn’t they and their families just agree for them to use a single occupant, gender neutral bathroom which any student could use for any personal reason??? Sometimes young girls don’t want to share intimate surroundings, even with other girls, when they are having their periods. There is nothing unique about human beings, for one reason or another, wanting to be sometimes alone. That’s why gender neutral bathrooms are a good thing. Parents who won’t teach their transgender children that there are fair ways to honor everyone’s rights are misguiding their kids and putting them in bubble wrap. Why does every other child have to be put at risk and change their privacy habits for the few? These warm, fuzzy pity-party arguments don’t address the fact that the 98+% of us are having our rights trampled. Part of growing up is learning that we’re all different and must respect each others’ sensitivities. If a girl student likes to go around topless, should she be allowed to do this because it feels good to her? By the way, I have a transgender relative, and she is grateful that her parents taught her how to respect herself by, in part, not thinking solely of herself but also considering the feelings of other people. She is incredibly well-adjusted and accepting of herself and others. This is what real love is about.

        Reply
      • HC
        HC says:

        It’s not the transgender people that I personally worry about, who is stopping someone that has malicious intent? That is my concern.. “Peeping Toms” and much worse

        Reply

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