Information Regarding Transgender Student Rights
With the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice's recent rescinding of prior guidance requiring schools to treat students "consistent with the student’s gender identity," we have received questions about its impact on our school community.
While the federal guidance has been rescinded, Washington state law continues to protect transgender students from discrimination in school, which includes names and pronouns, dress codes, student participation in sports and physical education, harassment, and students' use of restrooms and locker rooms. The federal guidance will not affect state law.
In 2006, sexual orientation and gender identity were added as protected classes to the Washington State Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). Four years later, the Legislature passed a law (codified as Revised Code of Washington 28A.642) explicitly protecting students in Washington public schools against discrimination.
As a result of that law, OSPI in February 2012 issued formal guidelines entitled, “Prohibiting Discrimination in Washington Public Schools.” The guidelines specifically address access to restrooms and locker rooms:
- On restrooms: “School districts should allow students to use the restroom that is consistent with their gender identity consistently asserted at school” (p. 30);
- On locker rooms: “No student … should be required to use a locker room that conflicts with his or her gender identity” (p. 31).
School districts are required to comply with the guidelines – and have been doing so successfully for five years. The new guidance from the Education and Justice Departments states that “there must be due regard for the primary role of the States and local school districts in establishing educational policy.” In short, our state laws continue to protect our transgender students.
Shoreline Schools will follow the state's laws and guidance as outlined above and will continue to provide every student and family who walk through our doors with a safe and positive learning environment. Shoreline Schools benefits from a diverse learning environment that respects and embraces all cultures, customs and identities.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your school's office.
Ingersoll Transgender Center
Ingersoll Gender Center supports transgender people in their growth and well-being. We provide support, education, advocacy, and a wide array of resources for people interested in gender identity issues. We support and respect service providers, employers, families and friends as well, in order to promote understanding, awareness and acceptance of gender diversity.