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Smithee family

“Parents are being asked to trust the schools, trust strangers, with their kids.”

“As taxpayers and as parents, we have the right to walk into the school building and observe our child at any time, but the schools have made any parent who says that into an outcast. There are valid reasons we want to see what’s going on.”

“In first grade, my daughter Franki switched to a different school and went from being successful to having huge problems. She was getting in trouble all the time and was later diagnosed with autism and ADHD. That was the beginning of a really big struggle with the school system. After she was physically restrained by an adult, we decided to home-school.”

“When she was 10, we moved to Boise and finally found a public school that had a fantastic principal and teachers, and she had a great fifth-grade year. Then COVID hit.”

“She started middle school in 6th grade and had a mask exemption, but her teacher discriminated against her for it. The whole situation made her pretty much this other person, and things escalated to the day that the lieutenant governor lifted the mask mandate.” 

“Because she was so emotionally invested and her interpretation of what happened might be off, I asked the principal if I could go into the classroom with her. He refused but brought the teacher to a conference room to meet with me.”  

“While we were talking, another student got engaged in a disagreement with my daughter over masks. It escalated until the other student pulled her mask down and spat on my child. The spitting was one thing, but the way the principal refused to handle it was worse. He wouldn’t do anything that I felt would keep her safe at that school. So, Franki made the choice not to go back.” 

“Then, I ran into the founder of Cornerstone Learning Academy. Franki went from having so many issues in school to a safe environment where the teachers loved her, met her on her level, and respected her. Now she’s learning. She had the best school year of her whole life there in seventh grade – a year that's typically hard for kids.” 

“Having tried so many schools, I know school choice would be a game changer in Idaho, but only if the legislation is also adjusted in a way that schools can be started quickly and easily.” 

“Everybody in the school system has felt stuck, thinking they can’t change things because it’s the law, but during COVID, they changed all the rules – and they didn't wait for a legislative session to do it.” 

Angela Smithee
Boise, Idaho  

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The Center for American Education works with state legislators, policymakers, and parents to promote transformational change to our state and national education system so that it best serves the families and students who utilize it. We conduct research on and advocate for policies that empower students and their families and prepare individuals to pursue academic truth, advance knowledge, and contribute to the growth of a strong moral order and prosperous society.
Idaho Freedom Foundation
802 W. Bannock Street, Suite 405, Boise, Idaho 83702
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