Transgender Transcripts Part 4

Lewis and Rockie

The second part of the meeting consisted of Superintendent Pete Lewis speaking along with the school Lawyer, Rockie Ulrich Hansen. After the last parent spoke, Superintendent Pete Lewis took the podium.

Superintendent Lewis: Good Evening, I am Pete Lewis, Superintendent of Colville School District.

President Green and members of the Board, Policy 3211 Transgender Students is before you for second reading. This policy provides additional clarity to our non-discrimination policy and I would like to point out to the Board that after posting the draft procedure on the website, we have heard from several families expressing concerns to the privacy interests of their students who may be impacted by allowing other students to utilize facilities that correspond with their gender identity. In light of these concerns, I have amended the procedure to recognize that any student who has a desire for increased privacy may be allowed to access an alternative restroom or changing area. In most cases we already have private areas within each facility that will allow a student more privacy. As the procedure says, this is done on a case by case basis.

I also want to point out that the Board approves policy, procedure is something that comes from the administration, and is something that can be changed and can be adjusted to meet the needs and to be able to comply with the law.

This is a Washington State School Directors generated Policy. It is in compliance with the Revised Code of Washington, specifically RCW 28A.642.010 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=28A.642.010) and with the Washington Administrative Code WAC 392.190, Unlawful Discrimination (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=392-190). This policy is also in compliance with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction Guidelines and is consistent with the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association rules.

It has also put us as a community and as a Board in a dilemma. A dilemma about how we go about crafting an appropriate policy and procedure that can meet the needs of our students and follow the laws of the state of Washington, which I am obligated to do, just as you are obligated to do.

It is important because of our discrimination policy and something that will be recognized by the state of Washington as something that we have to follow. We have protected classes. Gender identity is a protected class, like it or not. We have an obligation to make sure that all of our students and all of our classes are protected. We want to make sure that we craft a policy and procedure that allows us to do that, but does not stigmatize, it does not bring attention to, allows kids to be comfortable, allows kids to be safe.

It is not an easy place to sit there. It is not an easy place to be here.

1. Audience Member: Protect my daughter!

Superintendent Lewis: It is not an easy place for our community to weigh and work through this issue, but it is one that because it is on the books, it is a law and because we are required to do that, this policy is in front of you and I’m asking you to approve it.

Audience Collectively: No! Boo!

President Green: Tapping Gavel

Audience Continues: It’s not legislated! It’s not law! It’s not law!

2. Unidentified Individual: This is law!

President Green: This is a School Board regular meeting. You cannot scream and yell in a meeting.

3. Audience Member: And that’s the problem, you’re not educated enough!

President Green: Just a minute! Back up! Everybody was very respectful when you were speaking, so please give them the same common courtesy.

And now we’d like to hear from the Colville School District Attorney Rockie Hansen.

4. Audience Member: Can we bring our lawyer next time?

5. Audience Member: You paid for her!

President Green: One more Sir, and I’m going to ask you to leave.

6. Audience Member: We should ask you to leave.

(Laughter)

Attorney Hansen:Can you guys hear me?

7. Audience Member: No.

Attorney Hansen: I have been asked to respond to concerns about the legality or the mandate behind the proposed policy. The first thing that I would like to make [inaudible] materials that I received in a handout from the …

8. Audience Member: Can’t hear you!

Attorney Hansen: The materials that were handed out from the Alliance Defending Freedom, that were handed out to many of you was not a district created document. As a District Attorney, I’d like to point out to the Board that the focus of that paper is on federal law and their interpretation of several cases on federal law. I can tell you that there is other interpretations, and I have to tell you that this issue is not completely settled in the federal courts as to federal law. The difference I want to point out to you that that’s not [very important] here today is because Washington has clearly included gender identity and gender expression in their protective classes.

Protective classes are always the minority and that’s because they are susceptible to majority rule taking advantage or discriminating against their rights and that’s why those protective classes have been established traditionally in the system.

In 2006, Washington state included gender identity and gender expression in the general requirement for government [inaudible] to accommodate and protect against discrimination of those classes. The legislature reiterated that in 2010 when it adopted specific school district mandates to include gender identity and gender expression in protective classes and then more recently, OSPI (Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction http://www.k12.wa.us/) adopted regulations. They were mandated to adopt regulations and have prepared sample proposal for school districts to use in implementing these protections for these [suspect] classes. I have reviewed the policy and the policy that is in consideration here today is consistent with those laws and those mandates in Washington state.

I would like to point out and I think Superintendent Lewis referred to this that there is a big distinction between the policy and the procedure. The source for the policy and sample procedure did come from WSSDA (Washington State School Directors Association http://www.wssda.org/) out of OSPI. There is guidance on how to make sure that we are not discriminating against these [suspect] classes and that’s the required prepared policy, and that is the initial document. Superintendent Lewis reviewed that, and reviewed the law and the procedure has been amended.

I think that given some of the comments I’ve heard this evening, I think it’s important that we highlight what those changes are, but I do want you to realize that the procedure is not what is being voted on here tonight. That’s not what’s before the Board. What’s before the board is the policy and the policy is simply talking about and reiterating that mandate that we provide accommodations and not the specifics of what those accommodations will be.

This did not – if I may – I’ll speak to [you]. I represent the school districts throughout Washington state. This is something that came out – this did pass out of … This is something that did not … that any particular Board Member came and said we need this policy adopted. This is something that your legislature’s passed, including gender identity, very specifically. So we are not looking at this federal law question. But I do need to tell you under federal law, the Department of Education Office [of Civil Rights] has also indicated that gender identity is covered under sex discrimination rules and guidelines. So it’s not necessarily just Washington, but it is something that is being recognized.

I think [inaudible] try to talk about the reasons behind this rule. The reason behind the rule in terms of protecting this particular suspect class is because of the extremely emotional type nature of gender identity. I have to again reiterate this has been at schools in Washington, been in place in many districts in Washington state for years and it has not created a problem. It has been implemented. But I think that if you look at the new procedures and that they are placed … there are alternative bathrooms and people are talking about the idea of using staff bathrooms. That is an option. We just need to recognize that bathrooms/restrooms – every restroom in this district has private areas. The restrooms are for using the facilities, there are private areas there. So with restrooms I think the issue easier and clearer. So with restrooms, even if you are uncomfortable still seeing that, looking at – if you need more privacy, you can have that.

And we’re going to offer, and if a student wants to have more privacy, for whatever reason, whether gender identity is troubling them, or they’re just concerned there could be someone with gender identity who’s in the bathroom, they would have access to separate facilities.

As the locker rooms, if you read the procedure, it’s a case by case basis, considering safety, considering privacy. Those options include using alternative times, alternative facilities.

So I think that you’ll be pleased that what they are proposing here is not automatically everyone with gender identity issue is going to be in the locker room taking showers. That’s not what’s contemplated by the procedure or policy as I read it, as I interpret it. Is extremely consistent with guidance out of OSPI. This is the standard, this is what we are being held to by the state, when they are audited, when they’re dealing with complaints.

Director Moore: Rockie, just to clarify for the audience. I wonder if you’d be willing to read the part that is policy, which is the part that we are being asked to …

9. Audience Member: Can’t hear you!

Attorney Hansen: She’s asking me to read the part of the policy that’s actually for consideration by the Board.

The Board believes in fostering an education environment that is safe and free of discrimination for all students, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. To that end, the board recognizes the importance of an inclusive approach toward transgender students in regards to official records, confidential health and education information, communication, restroom and locker room accessibility, sports and physical education, dress codes and other school activities, in order to provide these students with an equal opportunity for learning and achievement. This policy and its procedure will support that effort by facilitating district compliance with local, state and federal laws concerning harassment, intimidation, bullying and discrimination.

That’s what’s here for the board. That’s what’s before the board.

10. Audience Member: May I ask a question?

President Green: You may.

11. Audience Member: I’m not up there, I apologize.

President Green: Stand up please.

12. Audience Member: If the policy is approved as she just read, does the community get to approve the procedure or what was proposed by you that we all have read. Obviously we have some issues there that we’ve all spoken]. So I understand that that policy doesn’t say that, it just says something has to be established. Correct?

President Green: Correct.

12. Audience Member: So procedure is what is written. How does the community know what that procedure is and is that put into place with or without approval once the policy is passed?

Attorney Hansen: Procedure is typically something prepared by the direction of the Board. They would direct the Superintendent to prepare the procedure that would be consistent with the intent of the policy and that is something that the Superintendent prepares with administrative [inaudible] administrative team and would be published also on the website. It is one of those things that, as needed, is changed and developed over time.

The procedure that was originally on the website, and I’m not sure that everyone has seen the newest procedure that’s being proposed, because I think that does address a lot of concerns that people have this evening.

Director Moore: That procedure is on BoardDocs, right? Correct?

Attorney Hansen: I believe it is on BoardDocs, yes.

President Green: Go ahead Don.

13. Audience Member Don Robson: I have a question, I’m kind of confused here, because it sounds like we are just voting on the – the Board is just voting on the policy. That short paragraph is the policy, but in the minutes that you just approved from last month, it says

It was moved by Director Moore and seconded by Director Newman to approve Policy

– it lists all of them, there are 20 of them there – but it says 3211 and 3211P, Transgender students.

Motion passed unanimously, 5-0.

So it sounds on the one hand that you’re just voting on the policy, but yet, in the minutes last month, you voted on the policy and the procedure [inaudible 2:00]. Could you explain.

Attorney Hansen: The procedure should basically – the policy – the Board votes on policy. The Board is a policy making body and they are tasked with taking your community values and making them consistent with the law and running the district.

(Audience Mumbling)

The Superintendent is the management, the administration, the day to day operations of the school, and that would be procedure. So that first reading, that is the intitial intent to proceed, it doesn’t mean necessarily that’s the final vote, but somebody has initially recommended this policy and that’s why we are here today for the second reading for the policy.

14. Audience Member: So how do we remove them immediately? We have the right to remove them immediately don’t we?

15. Audience Member: You’re lying!

16. Audience Member Lynette Martin: Ok, so on the agenda printed up from the internet, it shows, under action items that they are going to vote on the policy and the procedure. This is from your website.

Audience: Yes!

16. Lynette Martin: This is the expanded version, most of the people here don’t have it. It says … so what are we being lied to about here?

(Applause and cheering)

17. Audience Member: The truth! We want the truth!

Attorney Hansen: The Board votes on policy, procedures are prepared and  administered by the Superintendent. That’s how school districts are governed in Washington state. If there was

18. Audience Member: They work for us!

(Audience Rumbling)

Attorney Hansen: Excuse me. Please. There was a desire to discuss the procedure because that’s something that this board wanted everyone to be aware of where this could go to be familiar with. The board does not vote on the procedure.

19. Audience: That’s a lie.

Audience Collectively: We heard this from you!

(Audience Grumbling)

Attorney Hansen: Well if I did, I mis-spoke again. They vote on policy.

20. Audience Member: If there were alternate times for them, why not an alternate time for boys to go to a boys bathroom? Alternate times for girls to go to a girls bathroom. Why do we have to mix them in? Isn’t that indecent exposure? People go to prison for this stuff!

(Applause)

21. Audience: Let’s hear the explanation. Let’s hear another one!

(Audience mumbling)

Superintendent Lewis: President Green, members of the Board, as I stated to you earlier, the procedure is a work in progress and it is something that can be changed and adjusted to meet the needs of our students and to make sure that we follow the law and that we create a discrimination free environment. That’s a culture that we want. If we need to draft the procedure differently, I am always willing and welcome to do that, if you would like me to do that. It’s clear that these folks would like that to happen, and if you would like to have me craft a committee, or get a committee together, bring a new recommendation forward so we can start the procedure, I am open to doing that.

(Three people clap)

22. Audience Member: When would that happen? What is a time frame?

Superintendent Lewis: First of all, if the policy passes, then I have an obligation to take that policy and implement that, so I would need to get something put out to the community to build a committee and craft a new procedure as quickly as possible. As far as a timeline, I can’t tell you. This is a complex issue and one that will obviously take some time for us to work through, but we’ll do that as fast as we can.

NOTE: The Superintendent just stated that he will not form a committee to update the procedure UNLESS the policy passes. This community needs to be very aware of this issue. This is the type of sneaky things that this administration always seems to be doing.

Superintendent Lewis: Yes. (Pointing to a member of the audience.)

23. Audience Member: I just wanted to say discrimination subject [inaudible] it seems always illegal to discriminate against those few and is perfectly ok to discriminate against all the rest of us.

(Applause)

Superintendent Lewis: I don’t. Our responsibility as a school system is to make sure that we build a system that hopefully doesn’t discriminate against anyone. So it is clear that we have some work to do and that we’re going to have to work on this procedure so that we can make sure that all of the protective classes and all of our students are put in an appropriate environment, and that their privacy rights are respected, and that we work together to make that happen.

24. Audience Member: This is all wrong. Period!

Superintendent Lewis: Yes. (pointing to a member of the audience.)

25. Audience Member: Will we as the public have an opportunity to know about these case by case procedures.

Superintendent Lewis: As far as knowing about the procedures, we can certainly communicate about that. As far as case by case situations, there are student bodies [inaudible] communication about individuals and about student circumstances that we would not be able to share. I will do my best to communicate and work with a group of citizens to craft the policy – excuse me – to craft the procedure that would be one that would meet the needs of our community. I also … go ahead.

26. Audience Member: What if there is a case that might threaten exposure for our kids. How would we get warning?

Superintendent Lewis: You may not, because I am not able to release information.

(Pointing to another member of the audience.) Yes.

27. Audience Member: How can we find out about the committee?

Superintendent Lewis: I will send out a letter to our parents in the community and then I’ll also have an application on the website and I’ll try to do that as quickly as possible.

(Pointing) Yes Ma’am.

28. Audience Member: Someone asked earlier how this all came about, that the board would be voting on the policy and procedure, and I didn’t really get an answer on that. I heard that the state …

Superintendent Lewis: Excuse me, it came from the state, we …

29. Audience Member: Right, but there’ s a lot of other districts that aren’t voting on this.

Superintendent Lewis: Because they’ve already done it.

Audience all Exclaiming Together Loudly: Laughter, No! No! Lies! Sorry! Another lie!

30. Audience Member: So what would happen if the board changes their minds and says no we don’t want the policy?

Superintendent Lewis: If the Board says they don’t want the policy, then we don’t have the policy.

31. Audience Member: So what would that do with the school …

Superintendent Lewis: We would still have the discrimination law as in the state, and I’m required to make sure we have a discrimination free environment.

(Audience Mumbling)

Superintendent Lewis: (Pointing) Yes.

32. Audience Member: I’m not sure if this has been discussed or not, but it would seem as if the parents are not allowed to be informed of these things, then the students inside the locker rooms or bathrooms or what not – if they were to communicate among themselves, which they should be able to do and relinquish their rights at the school house gates. If they were to say I don’t feel comfortable with so and so walking into the bathroom, then that’s putting them under an umbrella of [inaudible – covered by audience agreement].

Superintendent Lewis: If someone is uncomfortable using a facility, I would ask that they go to their building administrator.

33. Audience Member: Why them?

Superintendent Lewis: And work individually with them to come up with a solution that would work for them.

32. Audience Member: So their freedom of speech as a student body, is that being stifled here because of the fear of hurting the feelings or how exactly does that work for the students?

Superintendent Lewis: That would have to be handled on a case by case basis depending on what happens or what is said.

34. Audience Member: Who would oversee that?

Superintendent Lewis: The building administrator is responsible for that.

(Pointing) Yes sir.

35. Audience Member Matt Baker: My understanding is you guys have the right to vote no.

Audience collectively: YES!! You need to vote no! The majority votes no!

35. Matt Baker: I didn’t interrupt any of you. You have the right to vote no on this. Our school and our state already have all kinds of discrimination laws, there is no funding issue voting no on this. There are other school districts that have voted no on this and we are still protecting those in our community, we are still protecting minorities and the majority and not caving to another law that is creating a lot of issues as well as more obstacles.

You have the right to vote no on this. It will not hurt our school, it will not hurt the minority group that is the focus of this. It is my understanding of lawsuits, you have the right to say no.

My next point is it seems as thought what we are voting on right now clearly states “and procedure”. That’s clearly in the paragraph of what you are voting on right now. I would like, when you vote on it to be able to strike the “and procedure” part that I’m hearing correctly will change (covered by conversation).

36. Audience Member: I’ve had my hand up for 10 minutes. I have two points to make. Number One, how are [they/we] being discriminated against as the policy [inaudible].

And number two, I’ve heard this questions three times, and I haven’t heard a correct answer. Does the public community get a say in [inaudible].

(Audience laughter)

Superintendent Lewis: With regard to “does the public have a say”, does the public get to decide. Yes, the public gets to provide input. Obviously that is occurring right now. But ultimately in terms of does it meet the guidelines that are necessary for us to provide a discrimination free environment and one that protects this [society] from litigation from anyone. Administration has to weigh that and ultimately make the decision in terms of what they recommend in terms of the procedure. But as you know, and as we have committed to tonight, we will have a committee that will work on that, and we will bring something back to the community. We will publicize that so you will all have an opportunity to see it and to read it and to comment on it.

Now can you repeat the first question again.

(More than one person speaks at this time.)

37. Audience Member: So basically what you’re saying is we can give an opinion as long as it matches what yours is.

(Laughter)

36. Audience Member with Original Question: [How are we being discriminating?]

Attorney Hansen: The thing is, that we don’t know. Right now, what we are trying to do is send a message to the students that are impacted by this policy, to let them know what their rights are. The current policy language and the current procedure language under the discrimination policy does recommend already, gender identity, but it doesn’t have specifics about what that looks like.

38. Audience Member: Let’s wait till we find out what it looks like.

Attorney Hansen: Excuse me! This policy is developed to highlight that for these protected classes so that they know. You’ve all seen a job application that has the EOE statement at the bottom, it’s the same idea. You can come to this district, or if you’re planning to come to this district you can look at the policies. You have a gender identity, you can know that you’ll be protected here and you’ll be welcomed here and like any other student, you will have rights in this district. That’s the purpose of the new policy and the procedure would be to help everyone that’s involved understand what the law expects. So that in a situational right, there are stepping stones to help you know that ok,

– The locker rooms – this is a case by case consideration. I need to look at what options are there, how will we apply.

That’s what procedures are for is to help give that guideline to the district employees so that they know what is expected.

39. Audience Member: I don’t understand. If you are trying to instate this policy and there’s no process yet, what is the point in having a policy [inaudible]. If you haven’t done the background work to ensure that the process – not policy – process for our students sake – any students sake, whether you are transgender or not, what’s the process. You haven’t even looked at that process to give to your community. So how can you vote on policy and process, when you have not done any of the processes?

Superintendent Lewis: We have done the process. It was published in the procedure, and that was changed an amended and our committee, obviously, is going to have to do some work to work our way through that in terms of crafting that in a way that is going to meet OSPI guidelines and …

39. Audience Member: [inaudible, but continuing the line of questioning]

Superintendent Lewis: I have – I think I’ve stated very clearly, we will create a committee and we will bring a procedure back, if the policy passes.

40. Audience Member: I think the community should create that committee.

Attorney Hansen: Excuse me, but regardless of the policy passing, or the procedure in place. The law clearly states that gender identity and gender expression in a protected class in Washington state. This district will need to follow the law and therefore will have to deal with this on a case by case basis, but the idea was to have a procedure in place that people knew and people could comment and evolve.

(Audience Mumbling): Lies.

Attorney Hansen: The law does require that we accommodate the protective class.

41. Audience Member Scott Martin: Well, I see several things, first of all, you can’t as a superintendent create a committee, only the board an create a committee and it has to be on an agenda and it’s not on the agenda tonight. So we’re taking your word that you will pass a committee by the board at the next meeting and we’re basing all of this on a promise by you, that the board will pass something that you can’t guarantee a committee. Do you understand what I’m saying?

Superintendent Lewis: I believe the superintendent does have the ability to create a committee.

41. Scott Martin: You do?

President Green: Absolutely

41. Scott Martin: Alright, the second one is you are claiming you are going to create a committee. How? Let’s hear the specifics. Are you going to include everybody? There’s plenty of people here that would love to being on the committee. Who would like to be on the committee?

(Audience raising hands and laughing)

41. Scott Martin: Alright? Are you going to select them and what selection process are you going to use?

Director Moore: He actually did say.  He did say he would put an application on the web site.

41. Scott Martin: What would the selection process be?

Superintendent Lewis: Mr. Martin …

42. Audience Member: How would you select them?

(Audience Mumbling)

Superintendent Lewis: I will create an application process. How they will be selected, I will develop that and I will communicate that.

43. Audience Member: Can we just get up and say we don’t want the policy people?

Audience Collectively: Vote No!

President Green: Taps Gavel.

Superintendent Lewis: This gentleman right here.

44. Audience Member: We recommend it should be tabled, the decision on that, until we see the procedures. This smells a lot like, ‘Let’s pass this and then we’ll read it later.’ [I’m asking you] nicely. Please. You’ve heard the masses here and I don’t think we’ve been unreasonable.

(Audience Mumbling)

Superintendent Lewis: Yes Ma’am

44. Audience Member continuing: Table it until we have all the information. We’d appreciate it. Thank you.

45. Audience Member: My question is, what is the urgency? It is my understanding that this is just brought before the board less than three weeks ago and now all of a sudden you’ve changed the entire culture of this community. What is the urgency to do this tonight?

(Applause)

Superintendent Lewis: Policy’s are presented before the board for first reading at one meeting, and at the next meeting they come forward for second reading. That’s been a typical standard for school districts and for our school district for quite some time.

Yes Sir. (Pointing)

46. Audience Member: Can the board let us know tonight what has changed at our school.

Superintendent Lewis: As far as the discrimination policy, that is in existence and it is part of Washington state law. From the legal standpoint, I’ll let Rockie respond to that in terms of the potential legal risk that could be [inaudible].

47. Audience Member: Aren’t we already taking care of every person in the United States of America? We’re already covered. You need to vote right now.

Audience Applause, cheers and agreement: Let’s hear the vote! Take a vote!

Attorney Hansen: The policy being proposed is consistent with Washington state law. OSPI is the governing body that will review our compliance with these provisions.

(Audience Grumbling)

Attorney Hansen: If we have a policy or procedure in place that will help everyone comply with the law. If we don’t, which was the question, I believe the district will be more susceptible to a finding of discrimination that could be tied to funds, which could also be tied to litigation against the district.

48. Audience Member: And we would back them on that.

Audience Collectively: It’s all about the money. Give it up! Federal funds. Money over the students!

49. Audience Member: If they don’t pass this there are already laws in place.

Superintendent Lewis: There already is a discrimination policy in place.

Audience Collectively: Then we are in compliance! We don’t need more!

49. Audience Member continues: Excuse me everybody. Is the school in compliance with the discrimination law in place? As it stands currently.

Audience Mumbling: Yes or no. Answer it

Attorney Hansen: It has been recommended by the state …

Audience Guffawing Loudly: Answer the question!

49. Audience Member asks again: Are we in compliance right now?

Attorney Hansen: I don’t know what’s going on in the building unless we have procedures in place to ensure compliance. I can’t tell you whether or not there’s compliance.

49. Audience Member: But which discrimination policy do we have in place?

(Audience Mumbling Loudly)

Director Sumner: Rob Sumner, 824 Lawson Rd.

50. Audience Member: I move that the board vote on it.

Director Sumner: I would like to speak first. Thank you. I chose to run, to get on the board to participate. I love this community. I love Colville. I am a transplant, so I came up from another area into Colville. I love the community, I love the people here and I’d say I know at least 60 percent of the people in here. I share your values, I share your belief, I share your understanding.

For myself, I have two children. I have a child that is 9 in third grade in school. I have addressed the same concerns to Rockie, our lawyer, that you guys have – a lot of the room particularly – is a large concern of mine. My duty as a board member is to make sure I protect the district, so here’s my conflict. My conflict is with the RCW and the WAC. It was included by our elected officials to include the gender identity and to the anti discrimination policies. So essentially what Rockie has eluded to and many questions that people have asked is why don’t we create separate bathrooms.

I asked the same question, why don’t we create separate bathrooms? The problem is that you are affording these individuals rights to choose their bathroom whether you agree with it or not, that is the right that was given to them from that inclusion into the policy into not discriminating. So by us not complying and not letting them into that bathroom, we are essentially setting our self up for litigation and lawsuit. That can cost our district money. So …

(Audience Mumbling)

Director Sumner: So let me just, let me just. I got more [inaudible] ok? So my concern as an elected official who shares your values and who has the same concerns is what is my duty as a board member. Is it my duty to protect the district from litigation and potential lawsuit, which robs our students from money that could be used for multiple things. Or is it my duty to go with my own feelings and the feelings of my own community?

I’ll be honest. I do not know enough about the transgender community. i do not know enough about issues that we face as well as the difficulties that they have. For me, as far as being a board member, I am not comfortable with our current policy. I am not comfortable with what many of you have discussed as far as with our procedure and the way that we are looking to possibly refine it with individuals, and committees and such [in the past]. So for me personally, I am making a motion to table this current policy (covered by applause).

(Audience loud cheers and applause)

President Green: Ok, we have a motion to table policy 3211. Do I have a second?

51. Audience Member: Second!

52. Audience Member: Second!

(Audience laughs)

10 Seconds pass, the audience starts to say things like “They want it.” “Well pass it then!” “Come on do it!” “Vote yes then!” “Vote!” “Come on, vote!” “Let’s hear the vote!” “Get my gun!” “Chicken!”

53. Audience Member: We move that the board vote.

(Audience laughs)

Director Moore: This is our meeting.

President Green: This is our meeting. [inaudible].

30 seconds have passed at this point. The audience does not hear any audible “second” by the board. Director Sarah Newman left the meeting shortly before 3 or 4 police officers showed up. She then attended the meeting via phone. It could have been Director Newman that gave the second to the motion, but this is unclear.

President Green: Alright, it has been moved and seconded that we table the policy 3211. All those in favor say Aye.

Directors in unison. Aye

President Green: Opposed? Motion carries 5-0. This policy …

Audience in unison: There’s only four! (referring to the number of Directors sitting at the table).

Director Sumner: She’s on the phone. (He holds up a phone that had been placed at Director Newman’s chair.

President Green: Alright this has been tabled for further notice. What I suggest we’ll do. We’ll set up an application [process] with Pete. Get everybody who wants to be on the committee. We’ll get it together, we’ll start from there when we have some kind of working procedure that you’re – you won’t be in love with it – that’s the wrong choice of words, but something that will work for the district and the kids and you guys. Then we’ll bring the policy back because currently right now on the Senate floor is a state bill to mandate that we pass this policy by August of 2016. So if it passes, it’s going to be mandated. But in the mean time, we’ll work through and get where we need to be and [with all your help].

I do want to thank everybody for everything you’ve said and the passions you’ve shown doing it. I appreciate you guys all coming here, I know it’s been a long meeting. Thank you very much.

(Applause and cheers)

President Green: May I have your attention for one more second please? What this policy has brought up is an effective change that either Washington or our elected officials have brought down to our community. Many of you said why would you guys create this policy and why would you do this? This isn’t a policy that any of us created or generated this is something that was brought down to us from the [inaudible] into the RCW … [inaudible].

Audience is talking – so I didn’t get the rest from the tape.

 

RCW 28A.642.010

Discrimination prohibited—Definitions.

Discrimination in Washington public schools on the basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, 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 is prohibited. The definitions given these terms in chapter 49.60 RCW apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
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