a whole bathroom for transgender K-8? that seems and excessive and ridiculous use for public school funding.
I'm pretty sure the bathroom will be there regardless of which gender(s) it is designated for, dude. I sincerely doubt much SPS money went into the transgendered bathroom.
i think its fine to have a separate trans bathroom, but how many trans kids are there from K-8? i honestly want to know. who guards it from gender-normative kids? can hermaphrodites use it?
Dayde makes me want to finally change my name to "Ghusce".
Want your own special school? Get your checkbooks out and pay for it yourself.
From what I understand, the school designated the use of a small personal bathroom for a middle school transgender student to protect the student's privacy.
Alternative School #1 is probably the only school in Seattle where you can learn about the persecution of gays during the Holocaust.

Why? Is discussion of the topic banned in other schools, or are Seattle's history teachers just that lousy?
What about limb slicing trannies? Do they get their own toilette?
Do they also teach about how gay people look dressed up as Nazis?
""It's not fair to target declining enrollment numbers when you are looking at a school that serves minority populations"

That's an interesting statement. Discuss.
@10 That's an interesting statement. Discuss.

What's to discuss? Same bullshit 'identity' politics that have made the far left pretty  much irrelevant in  the US. Keep it up.
I wonder why the "trans bathrooms" have to be separate? Trans peeps are just boys / girls / men / women, like everyone else.

They don't transition to be "trans." All bathrooms have stalls. . . so biology shouldn't impact anything. I mean if a boy or girl is using a different gendered bathroom from the gender they were assigned at birth, um. . . why not just use the target one? I can only guess the "trans" bathroom is for anyone not yet comfortable with using their target gender bathroom?

(shrug) either way, one single occupancy bathroom in a school with questioning / in transition kiddos can't hurt. . . it's just the cost of a gender neutral bathroom sign on a door, ffs.
When any district staff says "it's not set in stone", it is. AS#1 is toast.
“gender neutral bathroom sign on a door”

What, like a picture of Martina Navratilova?
There's a great form email on their website to get started with:

Dear Board Member (Insert BOARD MEMBER HERE),

My name is (insert your name). I am a supporter of LGBTQ rights and diversity in education.

I am writing to you to express my outrage about the proposed closure of Alternative School #1. This is a terrible proposal and will affect the diversity of education options in the Seattle Public School system. The impact of this school closure will negatively affect the quality of education offered in Seattle public schools for years to come.

I am a strong supporter of the LGBTQ rights movement. I support Alternative School #1 because of it’s forthright attitude concerning racial diversity and LGBTQ issues. The environment and curriculum that supports LGBTQ concerns is only offered at Alternative School #1, to date. It is apparent to me and many others in my community that to close that school will be to effectively cut off Seattle children from the diversity and LGBTQ friendly environment that would prevent tragic events, such as the rash of teen suicides that have been highlighted by the It Gets Better campaign that President Obama recently participated in. To shut down this school would be to cut many LGBTQ children off from the much needed environment of support in elementary and middle school.

Alternative School #1 is respected in Seattle for its high level of family diversity, its LGBTQ-inclusive environment, and its focus on Experiential Learning. Just this year the school and its teachers received multiple awards for excellence. I do not support the decision to shut down this unique, award-winning school. Not only would you be denying all potential future LGBTQ students the opportunity to learn in an environment that supports diversity, you would be robbing the children who are currently attending Alternative School #1 of their current support systems.

As you know, a child suddenly torn away from his network of friends and such a unique learning environment is likely to have trouble socially, psychologically and academically. Studies have shown that school transfers at this stage often have negative consequences, sometimes severe, on a child’s academic results – and therefore on their adult lives and future careers.

As an active resident and voter in the city of Seattle, I urge you to keep Alternative School #1 open. These are children’s lives and not just dollars and cents. Our kids, and the future of the Seattle’s diverse community, deserve better than this.

(Name Address Phone #)…

Because plenty of them don't feel comfortable doing that. If you were a transgendered man (biologically a woman), would you feel comfortable using the same bathroom as cisgendered men, some of whom may be bigoted against the transgendered?

I would hope bullying wouldn't be tolerated at AS #1, but I can't blame a kid (especially an adolescent) for being wary of using the same bathroom as cisgendered kids. Adolescent kids can be extremely intolerant and cruel.
Big whoop. They move to another school and the admin gives the transgendered kids a pass to use one of the many staff restrooms in the other schools Problem solved.

Or we can just spend the money to keep the school open so a handful of kids can piss in their special little bathroom.

Get real.
Wow, people are being abusive. What crawled up all your assholes and died?

The trans issue is a very, very minor one in this story. It's an example of what AS1 does, not the totality of it. I wouldn't say they're completely unique (Thornton Creek has a similar k-5 atmosphere, Salmon Bay does Middle School in the same vein), but it is rare.

The fact everyone is attacking the school for having a bathroom for kids demonstrates how little the commentators wish to think about the issue of alternative public school programs.
Let me just murmur a gentle observation about the name of the school. Alternative School #1 sounds institutional, or, more precisely, like some 1970's ironic/pretentious naming convention to show how groovy and vaguely NYC-meets-Berkeley it really is. If they want to be the school of choice for gender confused or LGBT children, why not name it after Harvey Milk? Lou Graham? I love Lou Graham! (Plus, that would make the local prude police drop their garters and spill their chai.)

Secondly, who learns much of *anything* about the holocaust k-8? We didn't start until high school, and I don't think I was that much of a drip. But just to make sure, I called the child next door, who is one of those over-achieving types (AP at Washington and already slated for the AP at Garfield) and he says they haven't studied it yet. Call me old-fashioned, but I don't think "Night and Fog" is a good curriculum choice for an eighth grader (but absolutely essential for a high schooler)

I'm all for alternative schools, and support wholeheartedly what this school says it's doing. But if you want public support outside the notoriously flaky and overly-touchy "community", there's some things to consider, like A.) maybe getting away from cornball 70's-era hipster naming conventions and B.) staying equally away from diva-on-a-jag copywriting. Do whatever you want with the plumbing.
My kids go to AS1. There are numerous reasons for the declining enrollments - the district promised busing when they moved AS1 from a central location (Bailey-Gatzert) to the far north end (Pinehurst), but ha ha, suckers, that's not true. And next year the busing area is slated to shrink even more (if the school remains open). Parents who have tried to transfer into the school this very year were told they couldn't, because "it's full". Really? The enrollment is down, but more kids can't enroll? What?

Seattle Schools staff routinely lie about the program at the school. Enrollment staff have, in my hearing, told prospective parents not to go to AS1 because "it's a hippie school: they take off their clothes and dance naked all day", and because "nobody learns anything there".

At the last kindergarten fair, the AS1 table was grouped with schools from - wait for it -

West Seattle. Hey, we're only twelve fucking MILES from West Seattle. All those WS parents will be knocking down the door to get in, right, knowing there's no busing for a 25-mile round trip each day? SPS administrators have done everything in their power to destroy enrollment at AS1, and now they act surprised that enrollment is down? Gee, I doused you in gasoline and threw lit matches on you, but why are you covered in dancing, crackling flames?

The fact is, the central administration hates, hates, hates alternative schools. They want nice standardized schools to turn out nice standardized kids, because we all know, all kids are exactly the same.
"They want nice standardized schools to turn out nice standardized kids, because we all know, all kids are exactly the same."

No, it's because alternative schools cost more, create more overhead (ie.  administration jobs) and spend more per-student. Why is  your kid so fucking special  that the SPS should spend more on  him than someone else's kid? I mean what's next, a school for each kid because, you know, my kid is fucking special   too? Alternative schools are for the truly developmentally handicapped, not for fucking hippie  parents  and failed parents. You want a special school, cut a check.

Remember the sad saga of John Marshall Alternative School?
@19: OK, I'll call you old-fashioned. My wife's 6th-grade class is reading books about the Holocaust. They can handle it, and they take it very seriously.
@22, you got any statistics to back that up?
Vitriolic arguments like yours are part of the routine whenever APP (advanced learning) is discussed. After much bullshit, I've learned to view such arguments as emotion-based and not fact-based.
All kids deserve an appropriate education-- for many, standardized education is not a good fit. Just ask my dyslexic 7th grade friend, who's a brilliant naturalist, and beloved by adults and teachers-- but the boys in gym class saw fit to give this geek a concussion. He's not gay, but most definitely "gay."
What's gained by forcing atypical students into hostile school environments? You think you can turn them "normal" under threat?
Of course 22 has no data, he's a troll. If he had two brain cells to rub together he'd recognize that EVERY Seattle public school gets exactly the same amount of money per pupil from the district. The idea that alternative schools somehow get the sooper sekret extra bucks!!! is a ridiculous delusion on his part.
My child goes to this school and I didn't even know about the transgender bathroom. The name of the school is another minor issue. But trust Stranger readers to degrade the discussion.
So every time little Johnny feels slighted we should build a more expensive educational bubble around him? That will prepare him for the real world rather than dealing with problems straight on.
"The idea that alternative schools somehow get the sooper sekret extra bucks!!!"

They don't. But they do consume more admin costs.

Proof of extra spending or STFU & GTFO.
to those of you claiming that AS#1 (and other alternative schools) cost more per student, take a look at the district's cost-per-student data (see pages 32-35)…

AS#1 costs ~$6200 per student.......lower than most other Seattle schools!
Seattle Public Schools has been shutting alternative schools for a while and AS-1 is the next program on the chopping block. The district continues to push for more neighborhood schools and fewer all city programs. The district's budget woes don't help much; it's always more cost effective to stack them deep and teach them cheap. In a better run district, such programs would be encouraged, but there are money problems going back to the Stanford years which drive policy.

Holocaust education in middle school? Wonderful. Students dancing at PNB? Lovely. Coming-of-age programs and appropriate plumbing? Sounds healthy to me. Keep it open.
I am an AS#1 parent, and I want to affirm what Dwight Moody said above - the bathroom issue is not the main point (I didn't even know about it). AS#1 is a school that really "gets" diversity. My child is biracial and it is vital to him to be in an environment where he feels he belongs. I occasionally volunteer at the school, and what I find striking is that you don't see the kids hanging out in racially-divided groups - they hang out together. As for the Holocaust, I believe school are required to teach something about it, and I would prefer that this be taught in a broader social justice context, as is the case at AS#1.

I am currently a student myself at a community college, and find it very disheartening that so many of my fellow students are obsessed with getting good test scores rather than actually learning the material. I don't want my own kid to have that attitude toward education, which is why I send him to AS#1.
I'm an AS#1 parent and it seems that all of the negative posts here have latched on to the transgendered bathroom as a negative. Does anyone remember changing in the gym locker room and feeling awkward amongst your own supposed gender? Imagine how that'd feel if you were undoubtedly uncomfortable in your own gender.

Ellen, my child is bi-racial American Indian and the way the school addresses racism and cultural diversity is what drew me to AS#1 in 2008 following that year's closure scare. I pointedly asked if closure was something I needed to worry about and was assured the school would be left alone for at least the next 5 years as the district had re-vamped the program after already being lied to by the SPS enrollment office that the school was full.

My opinion is that the school board and the superintendent have a budget and test score agenda that disagrees with alternative education and as Catherwood stated needs to standardize programs in order to reign in the numbers to get SPS off the hot seat where economics is concerned.

Keep hope alive and save alternative education in Seattle!

AS#1 save our school website:

AS#1 facebook community:…
My boys attended kindergarten at AS1 and I will be forever grateful to AS1 and Victoria. It has a place in the district (to bad there are not more alternative schools with this kind of support for minority groups) and it would be a big mistake to close this school. Our great children deserve to be supported and accepted for who they are, who their families are/are not and given a safe place to experience and learn in! Save AS1!!!
AS#1 was honored tonight as a School of Distinction for improved test scores. And yet it is being targeted for closure. Even when its test scores were not good (due to parents requesting that their students not be tested, as they objected to this as evidence of a good education), it received awards at the state and district level as an outstanding school. Its graduates have succeeded in all areas: the arts, science, politics, journalism, entrepreneurial businesses, mathematics; writers. It honors all children, regardless of learning style, socioeconomic class, sexual preference, race, or whatever distinction someone else may chose to put in them. And, it teaches the children to honor each other, as well. It meets children where they are and teaches them how to live in the real world while supporting others different than themselves. And offers excellent academics along the way. And yet, it not only has not received support from SPS, it has been routinely undercut.
Evidently, one of the questions being asked is, "What is the public saying by this lack of enrollment?" Let me suggest they are saying, "We don't want to send our children to schools that may not exist, we don't want to send our children to schools we can't get to, we don't want to send our children to schools we are told don't have room for them, and we can't send our children to schools we don't know exist (besides the information offered above, it should also be noted that SPS does not even list AS#1 among its Alternative Schools, so how will people find it, when they are looking for an Alternative School!)" All of these are issues that fall at the feet of the District, not the school.
Obviously, the transportation issue is truly a money problem, and may not be fixable, but the rest of the issues can easily be fixed with little or no financial outlay, if there was a true and honest commitment from SPS to deal fairly with this and other Alternative Schools. It will take a little time, I suspect, but other under enrolled schools are receiving that time, why not AS#1!
What if there was a school in the SPS that when they saw a child with a unique need, just found a way to meet that need? No fanfare, no asking for special funding from the district, no announcing that they couldn't work with a child out of the norm, just solving the problem. Perhaps the child was transgender, and there was a possible problem with bullying, (perhaps foreshadowed by some comments from other kids) as well as personal angst on the part of the student. This school doesn't want their students bullied, and doesn't want their students to become bullies, so they look for a way to prevent the problem. Well, antibullying education is a great choice, (and, after all, they are all about education) so they educate their students both on why they shouldn't bully, and how they can deal with bullying, if it should arise. But true learning is a process that takes time, and undesired actions could happen in the meanwhile, and the unsupervised bathrooms are a vulnerable spot, so the adults decide to give up one of the single seat bathrooms designated for their use, and designate it for this child, and any other that may have the same concerns. They don't announce it to the school, as this would cause more commotion, and could make the situation worse. They just let the children who they have this concern know of the bathroom and how they can access it. Staff usually know this sort of thing, since they have extremely good connections and communication with their students and parents and students know they are always accepted, and can come to staff with any problems they may have. No snide comments about where they want to piss, just acceptance, respect, and solving the problem.
The point isn't transgender bathrooms as much as a positive attitude towards all children, an environment that lets staff know the needs of their students, and a commitment to solving and preventing problems in a common sense, simple sort of way.
Wouldn't you want to send your child to a school like that?
If the district would help AS#1 get the word out that that is the sort of school this is, we would have no problem with enrollment numbers!
I went to Nova, which is basically the High School equivalent of AS #1. It seemed like every year there was some drama like this where someone wanted to close us down, then everyone got super upset and had a bunch of meetings etc. Then there was the excessive hand-wringing about whether or not our "community" would survive and a bunch of malarkey would ensue.

For what it's worth, I'm convinced these schools are like cockroaches, and will never die. Best of luck to all the students/faculty in any case.
This whole situation appalls me. It is very important for cities to have diverse teaching curriculums to address all of the family and personal situations of the children in their educational care. If each school isn't going to offer enough services for minority groups, then the only school devoted to this course of action should be protected from school closures. Gender and sexual identity minorities are the new forefront of this issue even though racial and ethnic minorities still get the short straw in educational battles. Children are cruel to even the most "normal" of counterparts. Having a separate single bathroom to prevent bullying is really the least a school can do. Adolescence is hard enough but add racial, sexual or gender minority issues to it and it can seem insurmountable. No one fits into the mainstream categories we have created. Some adjust better than others. But in a world where we like to pretend that everyone is the same, a school that teaches and protects the further most outliers is very important.

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