Durst seeks names, emails of Boise American Government teachers

(UPDATED, 6:05 a.m. Thursday, with details throughout.)

If you’ve ever wondered the names of every American government teacher in your local school district, you are evidently not alone.

On Aug. 30, state superintendent’s candidate Branden Durst filed a public records request with the Boise School District, seeking the “names and email addresses of all district personnel assigned to teach American Government or (Advanced Placement) American Government in the 2021-22 school year.”

Durst also wanted to know which schools the teachers are assigned to, and how many classes they teach.

The district complied with Durst’s request, spokesman Dan Hollar said.

Republican state superintendent’s candidate Branden Durst.

Durst did not respond to emails seeking comment. In a tweet Wednesday night, the Republican state superintendent’s candidate said his campaign coordinator had moved the email and he didn’t see it.

But in another tweet, he said his motives were not political.

“As previous instructor of American Government, I was collecting the information to offer assistance to teachers as I travel around Idaho and to provide opportunities to students,” Durst wrote. “That’s all.”

On Wednesday, officials from at least three other school districts told Idaho EdNews that they had received similar records requests from Durst.

It’s the second time this year that the Boise School District has been the subject of an unusual public records request from a GOP statewide candidate.

In May, state Rep. Priscilla Giddings sought a laundry list of documents, including portions of Boise’s curriculum and classroom lessons from equity-focused programs; all materials used to teach English language learners; curriculum and lesson plans tied to the 1619 Project, a New York Times investigation on racism; and the Trump administration’s response, the 1776 Project.

The district offered Giddings, a lieutenant governor’s candidate, access to some requested records, but said it would cost Giddings more than $155,000 to receive all the records she requested.

Kevin Richert

About 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 KIVI 6 On Your Side; "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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