Gender Diversity

  • The following policy and procedure were considered by the School Board at its June 22, 2016, meeting. That evening, the School Board unanimously approved Policy 3213 - Transgender Students. In so doing, it is our district's commitment to provide for the privacy, safety and support for all students.

    Community meetings
    Our district hosted two series of community meetings regarding the gender diversity topic:

    Community Forums - These community forums were intended for parents and community members who are interested in learning more about how to talk about gender and transgender issues with kids. These were held at the middle and high schools. The meetings at Valley View Middle School and Centennial Middle School were developed for elementary and middle school audiences, and the meetings at Glacier Peak High School and Snohomish High School were targeted toward high school audiences. Aidan Key from Gender Diversity facilitated these discussions along with Scott Peacock, Assistant Superintendent.

    • March 3, 2016 from 6-8 p.m. at Glacier Peak High School (7401 144th Place SE in Snohomish)
    • March 8, 2016 from 6-8 p.m. at Valley View Middle School (14308 Broadway Avenue SE in Snohomish)
    • March 15 , 2016 from 6-8 p.m. at Centennial Middle School (3000 South Machias Road in Snohomish)
    • March 22, 2016 from 6-8 p.m. at Snohomish High School (1316 Fifth Street in Snohomish)

    Policy Review/Feedback Forums - These two meeting opportunities were for anyone interested in learning about the policy and offering feedback. Scott Peacock, Assistant Superintendent, facilitated these two meetings.

    • February 22, 2016 from 7-8 p.m. at the district's Resource and Service Center (1601 Avenue D in Snohomish)
    • April 11, 2016 from 7-8 p.m. at the district's Resource and Service Center (1601 Avenue D in Snohomish)

    District statement regarding gender diversity policy and procedure
    Policy 3213 - Transgender Students and the accompanying procedure was written and approved in order to provide school district staff with guidance in how to support transgender students in ways that align with Washington state law and new federal rules. The policy was written so as to ensure the privacy, safety and support of all students. This policy and procedure reflects significant input from across our community, gathered over the course of 10 community and staff meetings. Implementation of the policy will be monitored closely as we move forward.

    Safety and privacy were important themes in all of our meetings. Our bathrooms and locker rooms are and will continue to be as safe as they have always been. Boys or girls who might attempt to enter the locker room of the opposite gender will not suddenly be permitted to do so under this new policy. The policy outlines a support process in which staff, administration, parents and the student develop a plan when a student transitions to the opposite gender. Under this process agreements and parameters are established with the student and parents. Simply entering the locker room of the opposite gender continues to represent serious misconduct. Adult intruders to our schools will be intercepted and reported to the police, as they have always been.

    Everyone, regardless of their position on transgender accommodations, wants to ensure privacy and modesty for students. No one wants students (or staff) to see other students naked. Students will not be exposed to the genitalia of the opposite gender. Our procedure provides private changing spaces and showers within locker rooms, and gender neutral changing spaces and showers. These will be identified as part of the support process. All students have access to these accommodations. There are many reasons why students, including those who are transgender, do not want to be seen or see others undress in the locker room. Bathrooms and locker rooms are monitored by adult staff. Furthermore, our policy establishes an expectation of modesty for students in our locker rooms and bathrooms. Actions that compromise commonly accepted norms of behavior will not be permitted.

    As a public school system, we meet all students where they are and support them. This policy and procedure do that. We will monitor the policy and how it is applied on an ongoing basis. Our overarching desire is to address all students’ need for privacy, safety and support. This is an important value to all of us in Snohomish.