Caldwell calls off hearing on LGBTQ student policy

After abruptly closing down a chaotic Jan. 9 public hearing, the Caldwell School Board has canceled a second hearing on a proposed LGBTQ student policy.

The board was scheduled to revisit the issue Monday. But “after careful consideration and due to safety concerns,” trustees called off the hearing.

“The trustees will be working with the Caldwell Police Department to create a plan to ensure the safety of participants at all future meetings because the safety of our students, parents, patrons, and staff is of utmost importance,” the district said in a statement posted on its website.

An overflow crowd packed the Jan. 9 hearing on the proposed policy, which includes language allowing students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their “expressed” gender identity, and requiring staff to refer to students by their preferred pronouns.

At one point, state Sen. Chris Trakel, R-Caldwell, said the policy would threaten the “morals and health” of students, admonishing trustees to drop the policy or risk a lawsuit. As Trakel accused the board of violating its own rules, board chair Marisela Pesina called for a recess. After audience members yelled and called for the trustees’ recall, the board adjourned the meeting. (Click here for video of the meeting.)

The district will take written comments on the proposed policy at [email protected]. Commenters must provide their name, address, and phone number.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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