Subject: IMPORTANT: You are invited & November minutes & help needed requests
From: "Reis, Elizabeth" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2006 16:10:28 -0800
To: "SAFE SCHOOLS: post to \"IMPORTANT NEWS\" list" , "SAFE SCHOOLS: post to main list"

[:ssc539:] IMPORTANT: You are invited & November minutes & help needed requests

(1) You are invited to attend the next Safe Schools Coalition meeting, this coming Tuesday, December 19, 3-5 pm PDT in person (Seattle) or by conference call. RSVP for directions or conference call info … here for web contact form


(2) Don't forget that Laugh OUT Loud (benefit for Safe Schools Coalition at the Comedy Underground) is this coming Tuesday, too. 8:30 pm in Seattle. More details:

(3) MINUTES 11/21/06, 3-5 p.m. PDT
Safe Schools Coalition Meeting
Chairing: Beth Reis; Recording: Penny Palmer

Read these minutes in RICH TEXT for best results.
RED = Help Needed
BLUE = Decision was made or someone volunteered

  1. INTROS … welcome new faces/voices

Attending: Lisa Love – Seattle Public Schools Comprehensive Health Education; Tracy Flynn – Planned Parenthood of Western Washington; Megan Farwell – Downtown YMCA; Sean Kirby – Washington State Human Rights Commission, Kaden Sullivan – Planned Parenthood of Western Washington and the Kitsap Safe Schools Network, Mat Vye, Sarah Luthens – Lambda Legal,  By phone: Gabi Clayton- PFLAG/SSC Webmaster, Brittany Hoffman – Gender Pac, Rachel Smith-Mosel, Doris Brevoort – Seattle Public Schools, Rudi Kadish – Human Rights Campaign, and Mike Courville – Respect for All Project



(3)     RESPECT FOR ALL PROJECT (Sharing) – Mike Courville

(4)     GPAC’s “50 UNDER 30” (Sharing & Decision) – Brittney Hoffman 

  1. YMCA’s QUEER YOUTH RECREATION PROGRAM (Sharing) – Megan Farwell

  2. One of the Seattle Y’s programs, Queer Recreation, is a monthly community-building program that includes outdoor excursions.  Megan is hoping that this year they can more actively outreach to schools (in the past they have exclusively worked with youth from Lambert House), especially those with active GSAs. We discussed how she might collaborate to make Queer Recreation more accessible to Seattle youth.  It is her hope that through this program they can begin to effectively build a strong, city-wide, queer youth community that provides not only opportunities for recreation, but also support and positive identity affirmation.  More info: Megan Farwell, Teen Coordinator, Downtown YMCA: 206-223-1631,


  2. Lisa and Frieda represented the Safe Schools Coalition (and Seattle Schools and WEA respectively) on a committee convened by the Washington State Office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI is the WA state’s department of education) to review the draft social studies Grade Level Expectations for bias and fairness. They reported that the meeting was very productive and that participants were supportive of the diversity of the group. There is no WASL (standardized test) for social studies, but there will be classroom-based assessments and making sure they are inclusive of diversity will, in turn, influence what is taught.

    Thanks to Pam Tollefsen for encouraging the Social Studies office to include SSC in the bias and fairness review process.



(10)    WEB SITE (report)


(12)    SPEAKERS BUREAU – Beth, Kristina, Rachel, Joyful

(13)    HEALTHY YOUTH ALLIANCE & comprehensive sexual health education bill – SSC agreed to sign on as a supporter again this year.

(14)     POWER OF ONE CONFERENCE -- SSC agreed to sponsor again this year.
(15)     EXCITING GRANT OPPORTUNITY – Beth, Frieda and Penny will meet on Monday 11/27 to  work on a proposal.
(16)     APA LEGISLATIVE DAY – SSC agreed to endorse it again this year. This article describes last year's day:

 (17) VOW TO TAKE A STAND – Sarah Luthens


(19)    SHOWING OF THE DOCUMENTARY DVD “QUEERSPAWN” postponed until Dec. meeting.

UPCOMING MEETINGS … contact the chair if you have agenda items to suggest or if you need instructions about attending (in person) or calling in (by conference call)

All are welcome- you do NOT need to be a Coalition member to attend.

Dec 19, 3-5 pm. Marsha chairs and Penny records">Marsha: 206-601-8942
Penny: 425-487-2813;
We will show NCLR’s DVD “Breaking the Silence: LGBTQ Foster Youth Tell Their Stories” or the excellent documentary about children with LGBT parents, Queerspawn.

Jan 16, 3-5 pm.
Frieda chairs and Kathy records. 253-765-7062
Kathy: 206-767-0760, 847-421-7009; 

Feb 20, 3-5 pm.
Beth">Beth chairs and : 206-296-4970 
Chris records.: 206-723-1818

ADDENDUM re: Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC)

Seth Kirby
Program Specialist 3
Washington State Human Rights Commission
711 Capitol Way Suite 402
P.O. Box 42490
Olympia, WA  98504-2490

(360) 586-3413
<> <>

The mission of the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) is to prevent and eliminate, and remedy discrimination by enforcing the State Law Against Discrimination, using resources efficiently, and making partnerships with the community.  We are the fourth oldest state civil rights agency in the country.   

The WSHRC’s unique contribution to civil and human rights in Washington is its use of the State’s police power to enforce civil rights statutes.  It is not an advisory commission, though it does advise the Governor, the Legislature, and State agencies.  

They have a Commission structure, with five Commissioners appointed by the Governor.  The Commissioners select the Executive Director.

The most common type of case concerns disability in employment, making up about 40% of complaints. Employment cases account for most of the caseload.  Retaliation and sex discrimination are the next most common type, after disability.
The WSHRC receives about 12,000 inquiries a year.  We have a free 800 telephone number within the State of Washington.  The website receives over 15,000 visitors a month.
The WSHRC has 40 staff in five offices—Olympia, Seattle, Spokane, Yakima, and a satellite office in Vancouver.
The WSHRC has jurisdiction over discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation/gender identity, disability, age, creed, martial status, and familiar status, depending on the organization and type of discrimination alleged.
Their jurisdiction covers most employers with eight or more employees; State agencies; many housing transactions; public accommodations like theaters, medical appointments, schools, stores, stadiums, transportation facilities, and restaurants; financial transactions including insurance and credit; and some whistleblowers.  This is much broader than the federal anti-discrimination jurisdiction.  The WSHRC does not cover religiously controlled non-profit entities or tribes.  
The WSHRC mostly investigates complaints of discrimination, and also uses alternative dispute resolution.  The WSHRC can also hold public hearings, gather information, and issue studies.  The WSHRC enforces discrimination findings through administrative law judges and the State courts.
New initiatives include outreach about sexual orientation nondiscrimination, satellite offices, social marketing of nondiscrimination, hate incident response and prevention, statewide civil rights strategic planning, distance learning through our website, and transformational mediation.  

ESHB 2661 was signed by Governor Chris Gregoire on January 31, 2006.  The new law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.  The new jurisdiction became effective on June 8, 2006.  The Commission sees this as a natural extension of civil rights.  
There were already a number of protections in place, including an Executive Order to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation when hiring at the state level.  The Safe Schools bill was passed and implemented in 2002, which is under OSPI’s jurisdiction.  The Cities of Seattle and Tacoma and King County already had similar protections in place.  
People are now protected against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity/ expression in employment, housing, public accommodation, credit and lending, and insurance transactions.  
RCW 49.60  defines sexual orientation as “heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity.  As used in this definition, gender expression or identity means having or being perceived to have a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.”    
RCW 49.60 defines sexual orientation is very broadly and includes gender identity and heterosexuality.  Although gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals are statistically the most frequent targets of sexual orientation discrimination, the law also protects heterosexual persons from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.  For example, the law will protect a heterosexual person who is discriminated against in employment because he or she is heterosexual.

WA is the 17th state to protect people on the basis of sexual orientation, and the 8th to protect people on the basis of gender identity.  Other states like Illinois and Maine recently added similar protections to their state anti-discrimination laws.  States like Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have had this jurisdiction for years.  
RCW 49.60 specifically says that the new law has nothing to do with same-sex marriage or hiring preferences or quotas.  The law exempts employers with less than 8 employees, tribal governments, and religiously controlled non-profits.  
For further information, please go to <> , or call 800-586-2282.