School restrooms have become a flashpoint in the culture war, as leftist activists have tried to force schools to allow biological boys to use girls’ bathrooms, changing rooms, and overnight accommodations. The danger this poses to students is obvious, but these activists attempt to destroy anyone exhibiting common sense.
At one point earlier this year, 26 school districts had adopted policies allowing boys to use girls’ facilities. The Legislature passed a bill, S1100, to outlaw such policies, but a state court recently put that law on hold. The lesson is clear: local school boards are ultimately responsible for their own districts.
Districts that previously adopted a pro-trans policy currently allow biological boys into girls’ bathrooms as school begins throughout the state.
On Wednesday, August 16, 2023, the board of West Bonner School District adopted a policy that requires students to use bathrooms, locker rooms, and overnight accommodations that are consistent with students’ biological sex.
The push to adopt this policy was led by new superintendent Branden Durst, who previously worked on education policy here at the Idaho Freedom Foundation.
The wording of West Bonner’s new policy is straightforward: it specifically uses the term “biological sex” rather than “gender,” which today can mean “gender identity.”
The policy also mandates that district employees, including teachers, must refer to students by their biological sex unless parents demand otherwise in writing.
The left has been waging this war for a long time. More than seven years ago, IFF president Wayne Hoffman wrote about how states like Idaho had allowed the federal government to usurp local control over school districts to the point where President Obama was ordering boys into girls’ bathrooms.
The solution to federal overreach is local control. Parents must take responsibility for their own school districts. Only by putting pressure on school boards — or getting elected to boards themselves — will we make progress on issues such as this.
West Bonner’s new policy is a model for school districts throughout the state and the nation. Public schools have an obligation to teach the truth and to ensure student safety, and this policy promotes both.
STAY CONNECTED with the latest news, research and opinions from the Gem State.