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At least 22 Idaho school districts have adopted gender identity policies, Idaho K-12 LEAD Map confirms

At least 22 Idaho school districts have adopted gender identity policies, Idaho K-12 LEAD Map confirms

Kaitlyn Shepherd
February 17, 2023

Note: This article has been updated to reflect the fact that Firth School District #59 revoked Policy 3281 at their board meeting on February 8, 2023, and Cascade School District #422's board of trustees revoked Policy 3281 during its board meeting on February 16, 2023.

At least 22 school districts in Idaho have adopted gender identity and sexual orientation policies. 

Some of these policies require teachers to use students’ preferred names and pronouns or face disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Multiple policies, like the one adopted in Basin School District, provide that regardless of the privacy concerns of other students, transgender-identifying students “will be allowed to use the restrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the gender identity they consistently assert at school.” 

Worse yet, some policies work to keep parents in the dark by providing that for district staff members, violating student confidentiality and disclosing the student’s transgender status — even to parents — could result in termination. 

The following 22 school districts are among those in Idaho that have formally adopted gender identity and sexual orientation policies: Basin, Blaine County, Buhl, Cottonwood, Firth,  Jerome, Kendrick, Kootenai, Middleton, Mountain Home, Murtaugh, North Gem, Orofino, Payette, Richfield, Ririe, Rockland, Salmon River, Shelley, Twin Falls, Whitepine, and Wilder. 

School DistrictPolicy Number
1Basin District #72513
2Blaine County District #61519.5
3Buhl Joint District #4123281
4Cottonwood Joint District #2423281
5Jerome Joint District #2613281
6Kendrick District #2833281
7Kootenai District #2743281
8Marsh Valley Joint District #213281
9Middleton District #1343281
10Mountain Home District #193519
11Murtaugh Joint District #418518
12North Gem District #1493281
13Orofino Joint District #1713281
14Payette Joint District #3713281
15Richfield District #3163281
16Ririe Joint District #2523281
17Rockland District #3823281
18Salmon River Joint District #2433281
19Shelley Joint District #603281
20Twin Falls District #4113281
21Whitepine Joint District #2883281
22Wilder District #133507

District-wide policies concerning sexual orientation and gender identity are a symptom of the radical gender theory sweeping through schools across the nation. As Nicole Neily, president and founder of Parents Defending Education, explains in a recent report for the Idaho Freedom Foundation, these policies are becoming increasingly common throughout the nation and are frequently passed under the guise of anti-bullying policies. 

In reality, however, these policies often force teachers to lie to students by using their preferred pronouns, violate student privacy by allowing transgender-identifying students to use the restrooms of members of the opposite sex, and hide a student’s struggles with sexual orientation or gender identity from the child’s parents.

As those who know and love their children the best, parents deserve transparency regarding important policies that have been adopted in their local school districts. Taxpayers, too, deserve to know whether the districts they support with their hard-earned money have strayed from education to indoctrination.

That’s why the Idaho Freedom Foundation and its Center for American Education launched the Idaho K-12 LEAD Map in 2022. We believe that parents and other concerned Idahoans should understand the extent to which harmful ideologies like radical gender theory and critical race theory have gained a foothold in their local school district. 

The LEAD Map evaluates every school district in Idaho based on students’ academic performance and the number of identified critical social justice incidents, defined as cases in which the tenets of critical race theory, radical gender theory, and other critical theories are implemented at the school or district level through different vehicles, such as social-emotional learning programs, student clubs, district policies, homework assignments, and more.

Each district is color-coded to indicate how it performed on these two factors. As a general rule, green districts are outperforming other districts in these areas, while red districts suffer from poor academic performance, a substantial number of critical social justice incidents, or both.

The map also reports spending per student, the superintendent’s salary, rainy day fund balance, and nearby alternative educational providers for each district. Data is generally updated once per month.

Visit LeadMap.org to find links to each gender identity policy. To keep up to date with LEAD Map updates and other Center for American Education research, follow us on Twitter @Ctr4AmericanEd.

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