EMMETT, Idaho — Parents showed up a school board meeting in Emmett Idaho where the board read through its rewrite of the district’s gender identity policy.
Parents and guardians were allowed to speak for three minutes during a 30-minute time frame and many voiced their displeasure, even though the rewrite nullifies much of the language that would have given transgender students more protections.
The board said the rewrite is designed to create a safe learning environment for all students.
News Clip of Meeting.
Full school district meeting. Including parents comments that start at the beginning. At @ 3 minutes in.
One parent stated that, as a Christian, her son would be embarrassed to share a bathroom with a girl. Another parent said that biological girls and boys should use the correct bathroom and that to allow a transgender child to use a preferred bathroom was similar to rape. Another said the word equity was a radical Marxist term and that this policy is the opposite of Gods laws.
A man who would not give his name but identified as a police officer said he was, “a conservative, God-fearing man and you (the school board) infringed on parental rights when you passed this two years ago.”
Sara Brady, the mother arrested in Meridian for taking her children to a playground during COVID restrictions and had the charges recently dismissed, gave her opinion and stated she would be running for the school board in the future.
“I am so surprised to see that this had passed,” Brady said. “I would expect this from a liberal school district, not Emmett.”
Policy 3281 was actually passed by the district on Dec. 13, 2021. The board recently rewrote the bill, and although SB 1100 is working through the legislature and could force students across the state to use the bathroom that corresponds to the gender on their birth certificate, the Emmett School Board rewrite also appears to move in that direction.
The board said it was originally passed as they were rewriting a bunch of policies at the same time, and they were not trying to hide it from parents.
The rewrite changes some specific wording and takes out whole paragraphs of the policy. The board said later in the meeting that they had put a committee together that consisted of three parents, three board members, an elementary principal and a secondary principal, they met twice to edit the policy.
One edit was changing the word from will to may, in regard to a student or school employee being subject to disciplinary action if they don’t abide by the policy.
Language in the policy that spoke specifically to elementary students was totally crossed out, as well as students could use separate or single-stall restrooms. “No student shall, on account of their transgender status, be required to use separate facilities,” was also totally crossed out.
The rewrite also added a paragraph that the district will use a child’s legal name. It took out that staff could be terminated if they did not comply with the policy, the whole section on dress code that allowed students to wear clothing that voiced their opinions on LGBTQ issues and crossed out dance court titles for transgender kids. For example, a person could only be prom queen or king based on their birth gender.
Many of the board members voiced their support of the parent’s concerns.
Trustee Mike Garner stated that the board feels there is also problems with the policy, but they did, “the best we can do. If Senate Bill 1100 passes that would give us the legal standing to potentially do something you might like a little more.”
Trustee Terry Jones said he totally sympathized with what the parents said.
“We’re Christian and conservative too and we are doing everything we can with the confines of today’s environment,” Jones said.
Ultimately the board decided to suspend policy 3281 until the rewrite is completed. People can see the full rewrite of the policy on the Emmett School District website under the monthly board meeting tab.