Trans Rights at PHS


It’s Transgender Awareness Month and specifically Transgender Awareness Week. This is the perfect time to celebrate trans joy, highlight the strides made for trans rights, and to emphasize the barriers still standing. These strides and barriers can be seen in Pasco High. Here’s a breakdown of the options available for transgender and gender diverse students at PHS.

Anti Discrimination Law

Civil law across all Washington public schools prohibits discrimination and discriminatory harassment on the basis of gender. This is true for all students, regardless of cisgender or transgender status. In PHS, this means any case of gender-based discrimination or harassment involving students and/or staff will be investigated and handled.

Names, Pronouns, and Designated Gender

All students have a right to be addressed by their requested name, pronouns, and gender designation. Pasco High “encourage[s] teachers are actively asking for pronouns and not making assumptions,” says Ms. Machado, assistant principal at PHS. Many teachers ask for pronouns, but a vast majority do not.

Unofficial Documents: A legal name change is not required for changes in unofficial documents, like PowerSchool, attendance rosters, and school ID, meaning all unofficial documents can be changed to match the student’s identity. While a parent’s consent is not required, Pasco High heavily recommends students and parents are communicative. In the event that PHS needs to contact home for any reason, they might address the student by their new name to a parent that was not aware of this change. This would result in the school “outing” a student. Students can talk with a school counselor to start going through this process.

Official Documents: Proof of legal name change is required for all official documents, like transcripts. However, no proof is required for changing designated gender on official documents.


All students, trans or cis, have a right to seek out greater privacy for any reason and have access to a private restroom. Staff cannot require a transgender student use a private restroom.

All students have the right to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity, be it binary or not. At Pasco High, there are 3 gender-neutral bathrooms: one in the Nurse’s office by the main entrance, one in the Athletics office by the gyms, and one in the A-wing with all the CTE classes. Admin is currently working on how to make room for another in the same CTE hallway. The placing of these bathrooms are unconventional and there are none available upstairs.

Locker Rooms

All students, trans or cis, have a right to seek out additional privacy for any reason and be granted access to a private changing room, like bathroom stalls or a curtained off space. Staff cannot require a transgender or gender diverse student use a private changing space.

Transgender students may use the locker room that aligns with their gender identity, gender diverse students may use the locker room that “most aligns” with their gender identity.


The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, WIAA, encourages any and all students to participate in sports and is doing it’s part to lower the barriers against transgender student athletes. To play for any athletics that doesn’t correspond with an athlete’s assigned gender at birth, that athlete must speak with the “school personnel responsible for student eligibility [to be] granted eligibility to participate in the sport consistent with their gender identity,” according to the WIAA handbook. For PHS, this could be the Athletic Director Mr. Huisingh.

For nonbinary and gender diverse athletes, the WIAA suggests they participate in the athletics for the “gender most consistently expressed.” Most Washington athletics are separated into girls’ and boys’ teams, which makes it difficult for athletes who don’t fit strictly into either of those boxes.


While many changes have been made to accommodate trans and gender diverse students, Pasco High still has lots of work to do. In the mean time, continue to celebrate trans joy and learn about trans experiences throughout this month and beyond.