Laura Phillips (left) waves a rainbow flag while Everett Public Schools Superintendent Ian Saltzman raises a large rainbow flag at the district’s Pride month celebration Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Laura Phillips (left) waves a rainbow flag while Everett Public Schools Superintendent Ian Saltzman raises a large rainbow flag at the district’s Pride month celebration Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Pride flag flies over Everett Public Schools headquarters

In a show of support for students and staff, the rainbow LGBTQ flag will be up all month.

EVERETT — Staff cheered and waved tiny rainbow flags as Everett Public Schools Superintendent Ian Saltzman cranked a large version atop a pole Wednesday in honor of Pride month.

The district is flying the rainbow flag at the headquarters on Broadway to support everyone who learns and works in the administration and schools.

“In Everett Public Schools, we do believe all students belong in our schools,” district diversity, equity and inclusion director Joi Odom Grant said.

It will share the rope and pole with the district’s flag, next to poles bearing the U.S. and Washington flags.

People pose with a pride flag during the Everett Public Schools Pride celebration Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

People pose with a pride flag during the Everett Public Schools Pride celebration Wednesday in Everett. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Saltzman said he hopes raising the flag and planting Everett as a place where the spectrum of gender and sexuality is welcome encourages other school districts to follow.

Staff and students told the district they wanted more inclusive curricula, said Aissa Moody, assistant for diversity, equity and inclusion.

The district bought books for all of the school libraries featuring stories about people of color, with disabilities and who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual.

About 26% of Snohomish County students in 12th grade reported their sexual orientation as something other than heterosexual in last year’s Healthy Youth Survey. More than 15,000 students in the county responded to the survey.

Literature and pamphlets at the Everett Public Schools district headquarters Pride month celebration Wednesday shows some of the material available at schools. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Literature and pamphlets at the Everett Public Schools district headquarters Pride month celebration Wednesday shows some of the material available at schools. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

“A lot of our students are in fear of showing up and being their true selves,” Odom Grant said.

She and other district leaders hope the Pride flag shows the district is safe for students. They also see it as an extension of district and state policies around inclusion.

The Everett School District’s strategic plan calls for a workforce more representative of the student population, including ethnicity, gender, race and sexual orientation.

“It’s unapologetically supporting our students,” Odom Grant said.

Ben Watanabe: 425-339-3037; bwatanabe@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @benwatanabe.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Denise McKenzie, who has been a bartenders at Kuhnle’s Tavern for many years, works behind the bar on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After 106 years, Kuhnle’s Tavern in Marysville is closing

Come say farewell Sunday from noon to midnight at the historic bar with five beers on tap and a 50-cent pay phone.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road on Sunday, April 21, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Long live the Speedway! Mukilteo’s main drag won’t be renamed

The public shot down the mayor’s idea to change the name: 77% voted ‘No’ in an online survey, with 95% opposed on Facebook.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

Everett
Motorcyclist dies in crash on East Marine View Drive in Everett

Around 8 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle and a vehicle crashed into each other at the intersection of 11th street and East Marine View Drive.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 530

Jeremy Doyle, 46, was riding east near Darrington when he crashed into the side of a car that was turning left.

The Marysville School District office on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
‘Financially insolvent’ Marysville schools to get unprecedented oversight

Superintendent Chris Reykdal will convene a first-of-its-kind Financial Oversight Committee, he wrote in a letter Tuesday.

Woodside Elementary Principal Betty Cobbs on Monday, June 17, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett’s first Black principal retires after 51 years

In her office, Betty Cobbs kept a black-and-white photo of herself at age 5: “I am right there, with dreams of becoming an educator.”

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.