LGBTQ support overflows at Northshore School District Board meeting

BOTHELL, Wash.-- Pride for their school and their community, that is why so many were in attendance at a Northshore School District Board meeting on Monday.

“It’s important to represent myself and the rest of our community.”

Hunter Essex is just one of several students within the Northshore School District supporting the LGBTQ community. One of several students who feel like a group of parents and community members are trying to stop Pride events from happening at their schools.

"They’re moving us behind a couple more steps. I don’t know, it’s really frustrating.”

It all started during a meeting in March, where members of the Northshore Pride group got together, throwing out ideas of how Pride events would take place behind school walls.

Ideas and pipe dreams—that triggered a discussion both for and against those events.

Because of those dreams, a group formed called "NSD Unity.”

A spokesperson for the group said at the meeting, "No student, teacher or staff in any NSD school should ever feel intimidated or alienated because of LGBTQ+ issues."

With unity in mind, the co-president of Northshore Pride, school district members, and members of NSD Unity came together to figure out how to “reach across the table,” and, as the Co-President of Northshore Pride, Rick Lizotte, says, “to have conversations that are helping us to move forward with this in an attempt to do what’s best for all students.”

Concerned parents and students, one after another, stepped up to the podium to share why inclusivity is so extremely important to them… for them.

Lizotte says he hopes they felt supported and, “also saw the power and the strength of all the people standing behind them”

So, what “Pride” will look like in June at Northshore schools during Pride month is still being worked out.

As for what is next, Lizotte says,  "Just try to move forward to come to some understanding of how this is going to work.”

For Northshore Pride--  members say this isn’t a step back within Northshore School District, this is a step in a direction of working together, to ensure every student feels included in the school and in the community.

Lizotte says, ”I think they are gonna walk away better for this in the end.”

The two groups have already scheduled future meetings to continue working on ideas for inclusivity. One of those ideas, adding LGBTQ curriculum, including history relevant to the LGBTQ community.

Members of NSD Unity met with Northshore Pride today. NSD Unity will also be meeting with the superintendent in a private meeting.