On Wednesday, February 19, the Washington House of Representatives passed a bill designating Suciasaurus rex as the state dinosaur of Washington. The legislation was brought to Rep. Melanie Morgan, D-Parkland, by fourth-grade students at Elmhurst Elementary in the Franklin Pierce School District in Parkland after extensive research on the dinosaur and state law.
“The Suciasaurus rex roamed the San Juan Islands 80 million years ago. I didn’t know that, but Ms. Cole’s students did,” said Morgan. “They also found out that there wasn’t a state dinosaur. This bill is the fruit of their labor. My legislative assistant prepared an informational folder, which contained the draft bill. When I told them that their bill was in the folder, they erupted with excitement.”
“The kids in Ms. Cole’s class are from my district,” continued Morgan. “It is a district with low voter engagement and 80% poverty. It has struggling schools, including Elmhurst Elementary. I am extremely proud of these students. They are a great example of how to engage with their representative and the legislative process. Their voices and their experiences matter to legislators in Olympia. Ms. Cole’s class will remember this experience for the rest of their lives, as will I.”
Washington will join twelve other states and the District of Columbia in designating an official dinosaur. The Suciasaurus rex is unique to Washington.