By Boyd C. Allen

Pilot Staff Writer

Brookings-Harbor high school Principal Lisa Dion recognized Brigid Mitchell who, with Aynika Nelson, received a flag from Sen. Jeff Merkley on Martin Luther King Day on behalf of the LGBTQ + Straight Alliance Club.

The flag previously flew above the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

In a written statement, Merkley said he presented the flag to them because their work to improve inclusiveness at the high school was an apt tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King.

Merkley held a town hall meeting at the high school on Martin Luther King Day where LGBTQ+ Straight Alliance members asked the first and last questions and where he presented the flag.

Isaac Hodges said he hadn’t actually seen bathroom signs previously posted in the high school by the LGBTQ + Straight Aliance Club but characterized them as saying, “anyone is welcome and you may use whatever bathroom you choose.”

He said he was told at an earlier meeting the new signs would be removed and has since heard the signs that made the bathrooms gender neutral are permanent.

The signs encourage students to use the bathroom that best fits their gender identity or expression.

School policy, in accordance with federal law, allows a transgender student to transition facilities after undergoing a private meeting with his or her parents, counselors and the principal.

Seismic work

The board also accepted a proposal by Ausland Group for seismic work planned for this summer. Ausland Group was the lone bidder.

According to Darryl Anderson of Anderson Engineering and Surveying, the contract will be negotiated in two phases:

•Design development and cost estimating, then

•A guaranteed maximum price contract for construction services.

Anderson is the project manager for the district on seismic construction and contracting. Construction will occur at Azalea Middle School and the high school.

In other business

•Superintendent Sean Gallagher said the district was focussed on six goals: increasing the graduation rate, increasing student achievement, closing the achievement gap, ensuring college and career readiness, recruiting and retaining high quality staff and increasing community communications.

•The board voted to appoint Dori Statton, Nancy Tamura and Alice Farmer to the budget committee.

•The board directed public relations officer Nancy Raskauskas-Coon to explore ongoing advertising with the Pilot. The board suggested using the newspaper to promote its activities and create a superintendent’s corner.

Reach Boyd C. Allen at .