Rajbhandari arrested during climate protest

Boise School Board member Shiva Rajbhandari posted several photos on social media Monday from a climate protest in New York City. Rajbhandari was arrested during the protest.

(UPDATED, 2:55 p.m., with comments from two Boise trustees.)

Boise school trustee Shiva Rajbhandari was arrested in New York City Monday during a protest against fossil fuels extraction.

Rajbhandari told the Idaho Statesman he was charged with blocking pedestrian traffic and failing to disperse, and was held for about 4 ½ hours.

On X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, Rajbhandari posted several comments and photos from the protest.

“I was proud to partake in the mass civil disobedience at the Fed today alongside hundreds of fearless activists from across the country,” he wrote Monday evening. “Playing by the rules hasn’t worked. (President) Biden must end fossil fuel finance and declare a climate emergency now!”

About 150 people were arrested Monday, University of Idaho senior Ella Weber told the Statesman Monday. Weber was also arrested, according to the Statesman.

Weber managed Rajbhandari’s successful Boise School Board election in 2022, when the then-Boise High School senior unseated incumbent trustee Steve Schmidt.

Rajbhandari began his freshman year this fall at the University of North Carolina, but he remains on the school board.

In April, trustees publicly rebuked Rajbhandari for a profane tweet directed at Gov. Brad Little. In a statement Tuesday, school board President Dave Wagers did not criticize Rajbhandari over the arrest.

“Trustee Shiva Rajbhandari was duly elected by the voters of the Boise School District area and we, as trustees, hold no authority over another trustee,” Wagers said. “The Boise School District Board of Trustees remain committed to keeping our focus on our students, our families, our teachers, our community and the many Boise School District programs that contribute to educating our students today for a better tomorrow.”

But fellow trustee Beth Oppenheimer offered a different perspective.

“I make decisions in my life … with both my professional and my trustee hat on,” she said Tuesday.

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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