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Many of you have seen the disturbing news regarding the shooting at Freeman High School, which is near Spokane, Washington, this morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students, their families and the surrounding community.

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Commitment to Safe and Inclusive Learning Environments

Lake Washington School District has a long-standing commitment to ensuring that our schools are safe, welcoming, and inclusive learning environments. As a district, continuing efforts are underway. This page provides answers to frequently asked questions.

What policies does the district have in place?

For over twenty years, Lake Washington School District has had a Human Dignity Policy. Lake Washington recognizes and values that we are a diverse community. It is part of our mission to provide a positive, harmonious environment in which diversity is respected and encouraged. A major aim of education in the Lake Washington School District is the development of a commitment to the core values of a democratic society. In accordance with this aim, the district strongly emphasizes a core value of mutual human respect for each person regardless of individual differences and/or, characteristics including for example, but not necessarily limited to race; gender; creed; religion; color; national origin; honorably discharged veteran or military status; sexual orientation, including gender expression or identity; marital status; age; 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. We expect this value to be manifested in the daily behaviors of students, staff, and volunteers.

In addition, in August 2015, Lake Washington adopted a Civility Policy. The Lake Washington School District believes that a safe, civil, and respectful environment is essential to the successful operation of schools. Conversely, uncivil conduct interferes with students’ ability to learn, a school’s ability to educate its students, and an administrator’s ability to manage and lead the school community.

What happens if these policies are violated?

Lake Washington School District takes these policies, and all policies pertaining to the safety and well-being of students, very seriously. Student handbooks specify the consequences for violating these and other important policies, rules, and regulations. The Student Rights and Responsibilities document details expectations and consequences for violating established policies.

How can parents or students report incidents of bullying, harassment, or discrimination?

Reports should be made immediately to the school administrator. Please see the Preventing Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation web page. Incident reporting forms can also be accessed on this page. Lake Washington also partners with SafeSchools Alert. You can make a report of any harassment, threat, or other safety concern online at http://1342.alert1.us, by text or phone call 425-529-5763, or by emailing 1342@alert1.us. If you are reporting an emergency, please call 911.

What about immigrant students? What are their rights?

All Lake Washington School District students have the right to a safe learning environment. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plyler vs. Doe (457 U.S. 202 (1982)) that undocumented children and young adults have the same right to attend public primary and secondary schools as do U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Like other children, undocumented students are obliged under state law to attend school until they reach a mandated age. Lake Washington does not ask for or collect immigration status information.

How can immigrant parents learn more about their rights?

Immigration attorneys or immigration advocacy organizations are the best sources of information for parents to seek advice about immigration status and their rights. Eastside Legal Assistance Program or the American Immigration Lawyers Association may provide information. School district staff members are not equipped to provide legal advice to parents.

What programs do you have in place to support students?

In addition to a continuum of academic services, support, and programs for students, schools implement programs to support social-emotional learning and student safety. Such programs include Second Step, Safe Schools Ambassadors, Second Step Curriculum, and WEB (Where Everybody Belongs). In addition, there are variety of student-initiated ASB clubs in schools. For example, high school clubs include: Latinos Unidos, GSA (Gay Straight Alliance), Pride Club, Multicultural Club, Feminism Club, Minorities in STEM Club, and International Club.

How do schools keep all students safe while they are at school?

All schools have comprehensive safety plans and follow established district safety protocols and procedures. All schools have supervision plans in place to ensure appropriate supervision and safety for our students. Lake Washington partners with our cities and King County to provide school resource officers in our high schools. Please see the Safety page on our district website.

When does the district contact law enforcement or Child Protective Services (CPS)?

All district employees who have knowledge or reasonable cause to believe that a child has suffered abuse or neglect are mandatory reporters under the law. Employees shall report such incident(s) to the appropriate school administrator who shall cause a report to be made to who shall cause a report to be made to Child Protective Services (CPS), a division within the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), and to the proper Law Enforcement agency. Failure to report such incidents may be considered a criminal misdemeanor under Washington State law.