Northshore Superintendent promises to follow state law, protect rights of transgender students

The superintendent of Northshore School District (NSD) discussed her stance and the district’s vision regarding transgender rights in a post to her weekly district blog on Friday morning.

Dr. Michelle Reid, who was hired last summer, aligned herself with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in protecting the rights of transgender students.

The blog post was a response to an executive order from the White House reversing a 2016 guidance from the United States departments of education and justice. The 2016 guidance required schools to treat students consistent with the student’s gender identity.

Reid shared a statement by Inslee in her post. The statement reminded Washington residents of legislation passed in 2006 protecting transgender students.

The legislation “will remain in place and is unchanged by the new federal guidance,” Inslee’s statement read.

Reid also shared a statement from the head of public education in Washington, which included reference to formal guidelines prohibiting discrimination in Washington schools, issued in 2012.

That statement from State Superintendent Chris Reykdal aimed to reassure transgender students, stating: “Washington state law, though, 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.”

Reid’s blog post echoed many of those sentiments.

“As for us here in Northshore, we will continue to abide by the law and will continue to nurture and educational environment that is safe and free from discrimination for all students and staff,” Reid wrote. “We recognize that our diversity is a strength and a growing part of our foundational strategic plan from which teaching and learning flourish in this great district.”

The district board added transgender students to an equity policy in January, and has been making strides to offer gender-neutral bathrooms at facilities district-wide.

Reid has discussed undocumented immigrants in the past, imploring community members to “extend one another grace regarding this discourse and other complex topics integral to the success of our district, community and nation.”

Reid closed her weekly post by thanking the NSD Schools Foundation for a $73,000 grant, reflecting on a recent discovery in outer space and sharing her excitement surrounding the opening of North Creek High School this coming fall.

Reid publishes a blog post each Friday morning.