GLSEN Commends the Passage of Washington State Senate Bill 5689

WA bill protecting trans students passes

GLSEN Commends the Passage of Washington State Senate Bill 5689

Senate Bill 5689 will create safer schools for transgender students in the state

NEW YORK, NY (April 10, 2019) – GLSEN, the leading education organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students, and the GLSEN Washington State Chapter commend the passage of Senate Bill 5689. Senate Bill 5689 will help to ensure that every school district in Washington -- a state which already has comprehensive anti-bullying protections --  has policies and resources in place to appropriately handle harassment, intimidation, bullying, and discrimination against transgender students in public schools.

“All students deserve to feel safe at school, and this week the Washington State legislature took an important step forward in ensuring that transgender and gender nonconforming students are protected from bullying and harassment,” said Amanda Klecan, GLSEN Washington State. “This bill is more than simply affirming words -- it reflects an investment in developing policies and utilizing state resources to ensure that schools in the state are welcoming environments for transgender students.”

Transgender and gender nonconforming students in Washington state face hostile school environments, and most schools don’t currently have supports in place to protect them. According to GLSEN’s 2017 National School Climate Survey Washington State-level data, almost 70% of LGBTQ students reported regularly hearing negative remarks about transgender people, and almost 40% of LGBTQ students regularly heard school staff make negative remarks about someone’s gender expression. Additionally, less than a quarter reported that their school had a policy or official guidelines to support transgender or gender nonconforming students.

“State Senate Bill 5689 is a crucial step towards public schools in Washington State that are safe, affirming, and welcoming environments for transgender students,” said Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN. “We applaud Washington State legislators for prioritizing the safety and well-being of all students by supporting comprehensive policies and practices that are inclusive and affirming of transgender students.”

GLSEN's latest policy resource, Respect for All: Policy Recommendations to Support LGBTQ Students A Guide for District and School Leaders, provides guidance and best practices around the implementation of comprehensive anti-bullying laws, including for transgender and gender nonconforming students. Washington State is one of 19 states and Washington D.C. that have already passed a comprehensive anti-bullying law, with New Mexico being the most recent.

Media Contacts:

Amanda Klecan, GLSEN Washington State | 206-330-2099

Sue Yacka-Bible, Senior Media Relations Manager, GLSEN National | | 646-388-6575



GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools, via action at the national, state, and local level. Over nearly three decades of work, GLSEN has improved conditions for LGBTQ students across the United States and launched an international movement to address LGBTQ issues in education and promote respect for all in schools. Find more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, school-based programs, research, and professional development for educators at