School District promises to protect rights of transgender students, immigrants in letter

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The Edmonds School District Board of Directors and Superintendent Kris McDuffy sent a letter to families on Wednesday afternoon clarifying state law and the district’s policy with regard to transgender students and immigrants.

“Our intent of this letter is to show support and our care for each and every one of you,” the letter states.

District officials go on to state that they will continue to protect the rights of transgender students, including their names and pronouns, dress codes and use of restrooms and locker rooms, among others.

With regard to immigrants, district officials state the district will not function “as an arm of the federal immigration services.”

The letter also includes links to specific district policies.

Two community events are scheduled for March 27 and April 24 to help immigrant families understand their rights and to better navigate the immigration system. Details of those events are available in the letter below.

The full letter sent to families on Wednesday is below, along with links to the two events and translations of the letter in five languages:

Dear Families –

The Edmonds School District remains steadfast in its commitment that each and every student experiences a learning environment free from discrimination. Current events nationally are impacting many of our students, families, staff and community members. Our intent of this letter is to show support and our care for each and every one of you. This letter also provides clarifying information about district policy and state laws, resources available within our community and two upcoming community discussions scheduled in March and April.

District Policy and State Laws

Transgender Students
Federal departments recently rescinded guidance on transgender students but Washington state law and Edmonds School District policy continues to protect transgender students from discrimination in school. This includes: names and pronouns, dress codes, student participation in sports and physical education, harassment, and students’ use of restrooms and locker rooms. (District policy 8201 and procedure 8201-R1). Additionally, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) statement can be read by clicking here.

Immigration
Our state’s public education system exists to serve ALL students. As a part of that system, the Edmonds School District does not function, nor will it function, as an arm of the federal immigration services. Our state’s constitutional requirement is that students are educated “without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste or sex.” OSPI’s statement regarding collection of student data – what can and cannot be asked of students and families to provide – can be read by clicking here.

Community Resources

Our Diversity, Equity and Outreach (DEO) office has compiled and will continue to add to an Immigration Resources web page. We hope you find this information useful and please feel free to share with anyone in our community you think may value from it. We will continue to monitor developments and identify and build resources to support our students and families.

Community Discussion Opportunities

We’ve scheduled two community discussions with local organizations

March 276:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Know Your Rights Training for Families and Allies by Colectiva Legal Del Pueblo Organization

Location: Meadowdale Middle School – Register here

April 24 — 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Immigration 101 Training for Service Providers and Allies by Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
Location: Meadowdale Middle School – Register here

The Edmonds School District’s 70,000 households, 20,000 students and families and 3,000 employees all come together to form an incredibly strong and rich place to live and learn. Thanks to all of you, together, we will remain a caring and nurturing place for all of our students and families.

With Highest Regards,

Edmonds School District Board of Directors / Dr. Kristine McDuffy – Superintendent

Translations:

Apoyo a Estudiantes Trans e Inmigrantes – Español/Spanish

قانون الدولة وإجراءات مقاطعة ايديمندز التحول الي جنس اخر وموارد الهجرة ومساعدة الطلبة. – I العربية /Arabic

학군의 정책과 주의 법: 성전환 학생과 이민자 학생에대한 지원 – 한국어 /Korean

Правила Округа и Закон Штата: Поддержка Транссексуалов и Учеников-Иммигрантов – Русский / Russian

Chính sách Học Khu và Luật Tiểu bang: Hỗ trợ cho Học sinh Chuyển đổi Giới tính và Học sinh Di Dân – TiếngViệt / Vietnamese

3 COMMENTS

  1. Is everybody going nuts in this state or what??? The school should protect ALL CHILDREN!!! I’m sick of hearing transgender stories, Gay pride stories, etc…I want A Safe school for all children. I’m paying enough in taxes to demand this.

  2. And you are GETTING a safe school for ALL children. The challenge is that the vast majority of children aren’t being targeted – and that we must sometimes take additional steps to ensure that all students feel safe, so they too can get a free and fair education. . I’m sorry that you are sick of hearing about ALL of the members of our community. And I’m not sure that your acknowledgment of your fiscal responsibility (paying taxes) allows you to make demands, especially when you are calling people names.

  3. I applaud the school district for making sure that all children know they are safe and protected. The world is a scary place right now for transgender and immigrant children, and families need this reassurance from their schools.

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