Idaho Residents Fight Back Against Controversial School Board Policies

CALDWELL, Idaho — The Caldwell School District Board introduced new transgender and LGBT policy 3281 during the January 9, 2023, school board meeting. Over 1,000 concerned Idahoans packed the 50-seat school board meeting room, while the remaining parents and grandparents filled overflow rooms spilling into the halls, sidewalks, and parking lot in freezing temperatures. These policies would allow biological boys to go into girls’ restrooms and locker rooms and prevent teachers from warning parents that their child is dealing with sex confusion issues.

State Senator Chris Trakel, whose children attend the district, informed Board members they were in violation of two Idaho laws and scolded School Board President Marisela Pesina for violating the attendees’ First Amendment rights of Free Speech by dictating what people were permitted to say during the comment period. During Senator Trakel’s comment period, Ms. Pesina had his microphone muted by abruptly adjourning the meeting. Parents expressed outrage after the meeting was ended denying the multitude from voicing their opinions. Pastors and residents are now organizing to ensure parents’ voices are heard at the February 13, 2023 school board meeting.

The Caldwell School Board is in Canyon County, about 20 miles from Boise’s Ada County. A member of the West Ada Education Association (Ada County’s Teachers’ Union) is in cahoots with the Caldwell School Board – the teachers’ union representative sent an email with a call to action that deliberately excludes parents from attending the February 13 meeting by issuing tickets and requesting their employees go early to fill the room to exclude the majority who oppose policy 3281. The individual wrote:

“While we in the West Ada Education Association take no particular stance on any policy being considered by the district…We MUST stand behind the district, its board, employees, and students and their ability to share a variety of perspectives/arguments without fear of being attacked, abused, or intimidated. Any of you that have attempted to speak your truth in the midst of a hostile majority know the silencing power that holds. We are asking anyone and everyone that can to show up to the next Caldwell Board meeting on Monday, February 13th (must be there by 4:30 to get a ticket, then come back at 6:50 to get in) wearing blue. You would not be there to speak, only to ensure the space is civil and safe for dialogue and democratic decision-making.”

(SOURCE: Church United)

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