Civil Rights at Thornton Creek

In our school's recent history, district-initiated investigations of a Civil Rights and Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying revealed retaliation occurred against a Black family at our school. Knowing this harm happened in our community can be a painful revelation and it can help us grow stronger together. It is our collective responsibility at Thornton Creek Elementary to examine our systems and make robust changes to ensure that harm like this never happens again at our school. TC PTA is committed to collaborating with families, administrators, teachers, and the TC Parent Group to make families of color feel safe, welcome, valued, and heard in a consistent and accountable way.

We continue to invite
the community to connect with us to share your vision on our collective future. Please reach out via email ( to set up time to talk with one or more of our board members in person or on the phone, or to arrange a larger group Listening Session.

Christina Ellis - Francis B. North 2021 Civic Leader Award

We are very pleased to announce that the Civil Rights Law Section (CRLS) of the Washington State Bar Association has selected Christina Ellis (a founding member of TC PTA) to receive the 2021 Frances B. North Civic Leader Award.

Christina Ellis served as the Thornton Creek Parent Group and Site Council Vice-Chair during the 2017-18 school year. After she and her 8-year old child endured racially-motivated harassment, intimidation and bullying by school administrators, teachers and parent volunteers, she removed her children from attendance at Thornton Creek. Though Christina Ellis and her family were adversely impacted by bullying and racism at Thornton Creek and within Seattle Public Schools, she chose to relentlessly advocate for her child while pushing to advance and protect civil rights for all.

The experience Christina Ellis and her family lived through at Thornton Creek is not unique to our campus, our district, our city, state or nation. Shining a light on racist and inequitable practices within our public schools provides us an opportunity for the growth and change necessary to build a future where all children and families belong and thrive. The path Christina took to demand justice is not one that is available to many families, and it is with this in mind that she founded the Kienan Ellis Educational Project (KEEP).

Kicking off in January 2022, KEEP will provide resources to help bring justice to students and families experiencing racial discrimination in Seattle Public Schools. KEEP’s goal is to create a public defender system for school discipline in Seattle Public Schools that serves low-income and members of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color families to combat racial disproportionality in exclusionary discipline and fight the school-to-prison pipeline at its source.

This part of Thornton Creek’s history is something we should embrace and continue to learn from. It’s a history we should not only teach our children about, but engage them in. Within this work, we model for our students and our community how to become active contributors to building a better world. This is expeditionary learning.

This story is one of overcoming adversity, standing up to systems of power, and challenging long-standing practices that disproportionately cause harm to BIPOC and low-income families, and students with disabilities. Through this work, Christina and her allies built a community to support each other and push forward this important work. TC PTA is proud to be a part of this community, and we are committed to continuing the work that Christina and other BIPOC families started here.

THANK YOU Christina for continuing this imperative work, and CONGRATULATIONS on this well deserved honor!

TC PTA Initial Response to the SPS District-Initiated Investigation of Racial Harassment, Intimidation, Bullying and Retaliation at Thornton Creek Elementary - Dated 12/3/2020

TC PTA Response - Civil Rights Investigation

Press + Related LInks

Washington State Bar Association - 9/23/2021

From Tobin S. Klusty, Chair, Civil Rights Law Section, WSBA