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Sequim schools move to next step in transgender policy

August 7th, 2014 - 5:47am

(SEQUIM) Now that the Sequim School Board has approved a transgender policy for the school, Superintendent Kelly Shea is tasked with formulating procedures to guide teachers and staff with the various situations they might encounter during the school year.

As the school district was authoring its policy, a discrepancy began to develop between two government agencies as to the legal necessity for a transgender policy. The two agencies were the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA). Superintendent Shea had to speak with both entities to clarify the legal requirement for his district.

With that issue clarified, the district will now turn its attention to writing procedures based on the new policy. No policy currently exists.

Shea noted that creating a specific policy for transgender students protects the school district and employees from potential civil liability.

Last year, Sequim's school district had two students who identified as transgender. Shea was uncertain if those numbers would change for the 2014-15 academic year.

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