School Trustee Denied Access to Student Club
by Shari Dovale
In September 2018, a teacher presented an idea to the West Bonner School District 83 in Priest River, Idaho. Calling it a “Human Rights Club”, she presented it as an opportunity for students to discuss other cultures. The club was approved without public or parental input.
The club meetings are held at the Priest River Lamanna High School during lunch “so more students can attend.”
Then word got out that the students were actually discussing sexual orientation, LGBTQ, and the social agenda of the United Nations. Parents and employees alike were disturbed.
Several community members, concerned that the club would be indoctrinating children on an extreme social justice agenda, and since it contained a discussion of “LGBTQA and Men,” asked if they could observe the club meetings.
Additionally, elected school board trustee Rick Hall asked to attend these lunchtime club meetings to verify what is being discussed. However, Principal Joe Kren has said that he is denying all community requests to attend this club. This includes Trustee Hall.
33-512. GOVERNANCE OF SCHOOLS. The board of trustees of each school district shall have the following powers and duties: […]
(12) To supervise and regulate, including by contract with established entities, those extracurricular activities which are by definition outside of or in addition to the regular academic courses or curriculum of a public school, and which extracurricular activities shall not be considered to be a property, liberty or contract right of any student, and such extracurricular activities shall not be deemed a necessary element of a public school education, but shall be considered to be a privilege.
The elected trustees have an obligation to govern everything that takes place in their schools. Yet, this trustee had it suggested to him that he could be arrested for trying to do his job.
People are calling it a “Secret Gay Club” and likening it to what happened at the Forrest Bird Charter School in Sandpoint in 2017, when the principal of that school admitted that she and her staff had recruited students to join a secret gay club against the wishes of their parents.
“This is how pedophilia happens,” one resident commented. “If they are not breaking the law, why are the meetings closed?” The resident asked to remain anonymous due to their family connection with the school.
Now that questions are arising that this secret club may be being promoted by the WBCSD83, and members of it’s school board, the deeply conservative area is beginning to connect the club to the upcoming vote for a permanent School Levy Tax.
“This is why they don’t want to keep asking us to approve a levy?” was one of the comments. “What else are they not telling us?”
The vote on the permanent levy takes place on March 12, 2019.
Complaints have gone as high as Sherri Ybarra, Idaho Superintendent of Schools.
The next scheduled school board meeting is this Wednesday, February 20th, beginning at 6pm, at the WBCSD Administrative Office on 134 Main Street, Priest River.
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