Discussion surrounding student pronoun policy at La Center schools continues

Superintendent Peter Rosenkranz addresses recent media coverage in letter to families. Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is investigating La Center School District's Gender-Inclusive Schools Policy 3211-P to see if it complies with state laws and requirements after complaints were filed by some district employees against the superintendent alleging that the policy violates the freedom of speech and expression of students.
File photo

Superintendent Peter Rosenkranz addresses recent media coverage in letter to families

Leah Anaya
For Clark County Today

Several months ago, La Center School District Superintendent Peter Rosenkranz faced backlash for the district’s Gender-Inclusive Schools Policy 3211-P, or the student pronoun policy, which was adopted in November of 2022. Before the change, school staff had taken to privately asking each student their preferred pronouns, and then referred to the student in that way. With the new policy, Rosenkranz said, staff will no longer proactively ask a child to express their preferred pronouns or what name they would like to use, but will instead wait for a student to approach them if they want to go by something different. Further, if a student does make such a request, they will be referred to a counselor to discuss the change with their parents.

Superintendent Peter Rosenkranz

Rosenkranz requested via email to teachers at the start of the school year that students not be asked what pronouns they want to use on any type of back-to-school surveys. Thirty-one district employees filed a complaint against Rosenkranz, which was investigated by a third party with no violations of policy found. The same complainants appealed the decision and filed a civil rights complaint against the superintendent, specifically saying that the policy violates the freedom of speech and expression of the students. In response to the complaint, the Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) opened an investigation to see whether the La Center policy is in line with state law in terms of transgender student policy and procedure (RCW 28A.642.080).

According to the RCW, school districts must adopt a policy relating to students who claim to be transgender that are in line with OSPI’s requirements. OSPI’s requirements, as read in the RCW, say that discrimination is prohibited against students on the “basis of race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, 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.” Further, state law dictates that a district superintendent “shall develop rules and guidelines to eliminate discrimination,” including as it relates to “counseling and guidance services to students.” Rosenkranz pointed out that the RCW says that the district has the authority to amend policies to make sure they’re working well in its own district.

Rosenkranz has maintained that he is in favor of working collaboratively with students on issues, whether they are directly related to education or not, by bringing in counselors to the discussion. This includes informing parents of what is happening with their students while they’re at school. 

“We are trying to focus on the things that families expect of us,” Rosenkranz told Clark County Today, “and that includes reading, writing, math, history, science. Speaking of science, it’s interesting because people say ‘follow the science.’ Well, we nixed social science in favor of biology. As a former biology teacher, I can tell you for a fact that biological science says that there are chromosomes that dictate gender – there’s XX or XY. Of course there are anomalies, called genetic mutations, but in general that’s how it works. There’s a male and a female, and that’s how the species reproduces. Social science, however, that’s where the construct of gender as a continuum is found.”

Some who have spoken at previous school board meetings have said that it is “dangerous” to involve parents in a discussion with their children when they’re experiencing symptoms of gender dysphoria, but others have said that it is outside of the school’s realm of responsibility to have those types of conversations without their parents involved or informed. 

“This argument that it’s dangerous to call parents to tell them their child is identifying as a different gender is not really valid,” Rosenkranz said, “and here’s why. We handle many challenging issues in schools. Technically, any time I call a parent for any reason, there’s a risk that it could turn out poorly for the child. Unfortunately, that’s the reality – there’s child abuse out there, and that’s why we have a whole system set up with CPS and why staff are all mandatory reporters.

“But what we’re forgetting about is a parent’s unconditional love for their children,’’ Rosenkranz said. “I saw on a ‘pride’ website where it says, ‘We’re your first family.’ Well, no, your family is your first family. There’s this trepidation about involving parents because there’s an assumption that all parents are going to harm or treat their children poorly if they find out [that they’re presenting as a different gender in school], and that’s just not true. The best resource for children is their parents. I just recently had a case where a parent thanked me for telling them about what was going on with their child at school [in terms of gender dysphoria]. They might not have agreed with the child’s decision, but they were able to support them through it, and that wouldn’t have been an option had we kept them in the dark.”

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, one La Center staff member told Clark County Today, “I know many teachers and other staff members who agree with Pete [Rosenkranz]. But, sadly, I don’t know anyone who will speak boldly about it. We can’t take a stand in our positions – we aren’t comfortable doing that publicly. Who knows what the consequences would be if we did?”

Rosenkranz recently sent a letter out to the community via email to parents about the situation. “I’m trying to take a rational approach to this conversation that seems very irrational,” he said. “The assumption is, ‘If you’re not with me, you’re against me. Or worse, ‘If you’re not with me, you hate me.’ and that’s completely not true. Hate has nothing to do with it. We just disagree. I engage with people even if we disagree, and I don’t hate them. I respect them and their opinions.

“An educated populace is the foundation of democracy, and families are the foundation of education. And what’s more, I don’t have to define family – it’s a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads, a single mom, single dad … it’s not up to me. But a school being the sole authority on this issue with children and their gender identity, that’s like Les Schwab trying to sell refrigerators. It just doesn’t make sense.”

The letter sent to families on Thursday addressed recent media coverage where the La Center School District (LCSD) was accused of not supporting students as well as issuing “de-merits” to a staff member for asking a student about their gender identity.

In part, the letter from LCSD to families reads: 

“LCSD is committed to working hand-in-hand with families to provide collaborative support to both students and parents/guardians as they bring up their young people in an evolving world.

“Unfortunately, it appears that some individuals and recent media coverage have falsely aligned LCSD with a larger, national, political narrative associated with being unsupportive of students. This is plainly and simply not accurate. Supporting all students, in partnership with their families, is at the hear of everything we do each and every day.

“Several other inaccuracies have been shared, such as an alleged ‘de-merit’ of staff. This type of practice is not utilized in our district.

“LCSD students are not prohibited from changing and using pronouns. The procedure simply states that LCSD will not proactively canvas or ask students what pronouns they utilize. There has been some confusion and concern expressed by families regarding whether or not students were required to provide pronouns and at what age it is appropriate to ask. LCSD opted for the middle of the road related to this issue and proactively asks students to provide their names. If they want a different name or pronoun, they can provide that and we will use it in accordance with the law.

“Concerns have also been raised about student safety issues related to policy amendments that incorporate families in conversations about pronouns/names, citing fears about potential parent reactions to students’ name/pronoun preferences. We partner with parents on many subjects that involve critical and emotional topics. In the rare instance when, as a school, we believe a child is in harm’s way, we enact established safeguards, processes, and systems at the local and state level to support students who may be harmed by their parents.

“LCSD will continue to maintain our focus on educational excellence in reading, writing, math, science, art, PE, social studies, and more. Please take a moment to read a book with your child or ask what they are reading and engage in those amazing learning-focused conversations.”

Should teachers ask students for their preferred pronouns?*
511 votes

Also read:


  1. blank

    All this over, what, 0.1% of the student population?

    Wish the “concerned parents” would spend as much effort towards increasing the quality of teaching and the associated student test scores as they seem to over a small handful of borderline mentally-ill weirdos.

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      John Ley

      Susan — actually these parents and community members have been very active in trying to improve the quality of children’s education. They look at student achievement test scores and realize the results are unacceptable.

      They would welcome your help in pushing to help applaud the great teachers and schools, and hold those that are failing, accountable. They truly want a path for EXCELLENCE for all our children.

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    Who would even imagine that someday a topic on student pronouns would be needed? Society is in ‘free fall’.

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      WE ARE a doomed nation. From the minute a certain person was appointed to NOT run this country, we have been doomed ever since 2021

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        @MetaWorld2, lmao. “a certain person was appointed to NOT run this country”, you mean a certain person lost the election? People aren’t appointed to run the USA.

        Comment all you want on the issue of pronouns, but if you are still shouting “voter fraud” and “the big steal” you are a part of the downfall of this nation.

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        Yes, a certain looser continues to be a crybaby about getting less votes – not worthy of further discussion. Can we please stay on topic?

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      Alexander Marinesko

      Many years ago I read “The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire”. Could we replace Roman with American…..

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    We The People stand for kids

    I just find it sad that the ‘ALPHABET MOB’ shows up from Portland with there allies Antifa to intimidate Parents that disagree with the whole PRONOUNS, LGBTQ AND Transgender movement… I have no HATE…. adults can do what they want, but once you BRING KIDS into your sick SEXUAL FANTASIES AND that’s when I have a problem.

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      Absolutely! I agree! THIS HAS TO STOP ! IF NOT? THERE IS GONNA BE A WAR ! I have never been more erious. These instigators of all of this need be told to “Go home and let us live our own lives” Its as if they think they hve some kind of POWER over us. THEY DON’T HAVE ANY !

  4. blank

    I HAVE HAD IT CLEAR UP to my eyeballs with all this BS !

    • Since WHEN do the children TELL US WHAT THEY WANT? The only thing going on in school should be Reading, Writing, Math, History, Science etc. THIS BS RHETORIC has to STOP!

    All of this is being done purposely to stir the pot, and keep chaos going in our Communities, all the time! WTH have we become???? THIS NEEDS TO STOP RIGHT NOW ! I have never heard such ridiculousness!

    • TEACHERS need to teach!
    • Students need to study and learn Academics, NOT be worrying about their ProNouns!
    • Students need to be taught to be KIND to one another. The Golden Rule.
    • STUDENTS, PARENTS, and TEACHERS need to not be forced to keep digesting RCW’s and Thousands of pages of POLICIES over and over every time someone at the top wants to change or add something! Far as I can see these policies involve their makes skimming more and more $$$ off the top of alloted School Budgets.

    “Dangerous to involve Parents in discussions about Gender issues?” We must worry about Child abuse? O M G ! You wanna talk about child abuse take a look around our world today. Trust me it has nothing to do with Gender Disphoria.


    HOW ABOUT the government School Board getting out and staying OUT of matters like this? You all at the Top are actually creating another SOCIAL INJUSTICE INEQUITY; another form of RACISM, just by doing what you are doing!

    Before all this began, there has been a VERY SMALL % of people who even displayed issues. NOW days since all this over-the-top Liberal twisted thinking began, it is ALL WE HEAR! IT NEEDS TO STOP NOW ! These people have LOST THEIR MINDS!

    Parents need to take care of their own children, and teach them their own moral and ethical values. What this all says is NOW the throne sitters want to take PARENTS Rights away too.! THESE PANSEY waisted (L)iberals have gone WAY TOO FAR NOW ! THIS MUST STOP ! GET THIS ROTTING GOVERNORS SEAT THROWN OUT !

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      Since WHEN do the children TELL US WHAT THEY WANT?”

      Not sure you are aware of what century we are living in, but children are actual human beings and parents do not own them. If you aren’t listening to your children then you are an awful parent.

      What’s the point of being pro life if you treat that life like its worthless and not worth listening to?

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    Myrna Leija

    Thank you Leah Anaya for this well written article and truth telling regarding what is happening in La Center Schools and the School Board. Those of us who live in La Center appreciate what Superintendent Peter Rosenkranz and the board are doing by holding the line for what is reasonable and common sense. Parents have rights in raising their children and therefore knowing what is happening. There is legislation in the process of passing that will take parent rights away and a child can be given gender transitioning chemicals and surgeries without parental knowledge. Let’s keep parents rights until age 18.

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      La Center resident and parent here, you don’t speak for everyone. If people keep saying “parents have rights in raising their children” then why do you think your view is the only one that matters? What about my rights as a parent? Aren’t they just as valid as yours?

      Huh, maybe parents shouldn’t get to dictate to the schools, you see why that could be problematic.

      I feel so sorry for teachers today, they have to deal with not only your unruly kids but also the parents of those kids.

  6. blank

    Rosenkranz hit the nail on the head when he mentioned the deception which progressive sexual activists use to influence and recruit vulnerable, emotionally-troubled and mentally ill children when he said, “I saw on a ‘pride’ website where it says, ‘We’re your first family.’”

    I appreciate yet another well-written and informative article by Ms. Anaya.

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    Monty Winton

    I attended the La Center school board meeting on April 25th regarding school pronoun policy. Nearest I can understand it comes down to the student must decide what pronoun he prefers at time of registration. If he chooses to change his pronoun after he registers it’s their responsibility to notify a counselor and then their parents. There are certain school employees who feel it’s their responsibility and without parental knowledge or permission. That’s it in a nutshell.Nothing prohibits a student from being addressed the way they wish.Yet certain teachers will put our school district through the wringer in an attempt to circumvent parental involvement. Which is their true intent. To separate parent from child. If you have been paying attention this mindset has progressed to gender care surgeries for children. SB5595 recently passed legislation on April 13 2023. Transgender males competing with and sharing locker rooms with females. We send our children to public school for the academic opportunities it provides. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. The only social engineering a student needs is the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would want for yourself. Our children are caught in the middle of this political activism. They surely do not need this kind of distraction. After attending more than a few School board meetings both in La Center and Vancouver there has always been at least one speaker who supports leaving the parent out of the equation that will include their disdain for Christianity and Christians in general. The first speaker at the meeting said she had a list of alternative schools christians could attend where it may be more suitable for them and then proceeded to express her, he, they love for her, he, they witch heritage. Went on to Hail a list of Gods no one heard of. After which she, he or they received a huge applause from her colleagues, friends and peers who support teachers asking students their pronouns.

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      Which is their true intent. To separate parent from child.”

      What a load of crap. Maybe, just maybe they have seen what happens when vulnerable youth are outed before they are ready. Maybe they actually have the best interest of the student in mind.

      Way to just generalize a whole profession. Unbelievable. Turn off Fox News and go breathe some fresh air.

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    “I saw on a ‘pride’ website where it says, ‘We’re your first family.’

    In the interest of good academics, please cite your source.

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    Anna Miller

    How much does a Teacher make in Washington? The average Teacher salary in Washington is $61,151 as of March 28, 2023, but the range typically falls between $51,130 and $74,553. Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

    Teachers have been shown respect by salary range increases and levy’s passing regularly. However, in this case many teachers are getting out of their lane and driving too much in the “parents only” lane. Stop that.

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    It’s ALL a distraction in the schools. I just heard Evergreen High School has kids that identify as cats. They use litter boxes, meow and lick themselves in class. It is very disruptive according to students.

    They also allow LGBTQ/transgender students (males pretending to be female) to use the girls restrooms. The girls have been harassed and are extremely uncomfortable. When they complain to school officials, they are told there isn’t anything that can be done. Girls who are uncomfortable can walk across campus to a singular bathroom, which will then inevitably make them tardy for their next class.

    Do parents know this is happening? What about the girls rights that are being violated by having boys in the bathrooms? Who actually has to clean the litter boxes these kids are using?

    Our children are being sent to public school and have to deal with this crap. It is happening in so many schools. This shouldn’t be normalized.

  11. blank

    Kinsey Syndrome – Full Documentary
    To all ignorant & unknowing: all that is LGBT and their modern developments is based on the research of a sick & wicked paedophile = alfred kinsey

    Watch these videos about the sex classes taught in our public schools.
    Alfred Kinsey did the studies and wrote the book on how to groom children in the late 1940s. Every parent needs to see why this craziness is happening. Watch these videos to learn the history about what they are teaching today. This isn’t just about pronouns.



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