Battle over pronoun policies takes center stage at La Center School District board meeting

The battle over pronoun policies in the La Center School District (LCSD) continues to escalate.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 10:33 PM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LA CENTER Wash. (KPTV) - The battle over pronoun policies in the La Center School District (LCSD) continues to escalate.

The debate questions recent district policy changes prohibiting teachers from asking students about their pronouns, and Tuesday night, that debate took center stage at a school board meeting.

This polarizing topic was at the center of Tuesday’s regular school board meeting at La Center High School. The public comments were passionate, but remained peaceful.

“I am sad to see the polarization that is happening in this district,” a teacher said.

The debate over whether teachers should be able to ask students their preferred pronouns and whether parents should be notified— continued at La Center School District’s board meeting on Tuesday.

According to the school district’s updated “gender-inclusive schools” policy — teachers are not allowed to ask students about gender pronouns and are required to tell parents if the topic comes up concerning their child.

The district’s policy states, “it is not the role of the schools to facilitate questioning gender identity.” and also states, “the school should also be transparent with parents/guardians.”

Former graduates, active and retired teachers of the district, and local advocates spoke out at the meeting calling the policy dangerous and singling out a school board member.

“I was disgusted to uncover the plethora of anti-trans and anti-teacher tweets that Win Muffett has liked on Twitter, which equate queer people and ally teachers with groomers and pedophiles,” Emily, a LCSD graduate, said.

“Enabling teachers to ask for pronouns instead of forcing students to out themselves is crucial for fostering inclusivity and protecting student’s well-being,” Brittini, a parent, said.

Parents and community groups that support the policy changes maintain it’s the right move.

“All children should be taught the real facts of sex, which is binary and unchangeable,” a community member said.

“Commend you on the position that the board has taken to inform parents when their children are facing challenging decisions with respect to their identity,” Randy, a community member said.

Last month, the superintendent sent a letter to the LCSD community stating “LCSD opted for the middle of the road related to this issue.” In the letter, the superintendent also said following the board’s dismissal of a civil rights complaint, that complaint had been re-submitted at the state level and is under investigation.