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Gender inclusion policies have existed in Idaho schools for years: districts report no problems

The Blaine County School District has had a gender inclusion policy since 2016 without a single report of policy abuse at the expense of others.

IDAHO, USA — A regularly scheduled Caldwell School Board meeting prematurely adjourned Monday night after community members in attendance failed to act respectfully to the school board members.

The controversy stirred from a proposed gender identity and sexual orientation inclusion policy known as 3281.

The policy for consideration is new to the Caldwell School District; however, it is not new to Idaho. The Teton County School District and the Bonneville Joint School District both have their own versions of 3281 as part of their district specific policy.

The Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA) wrote the model policy for 3281, according to Deputy Director & Government Affairs Quinn Perry.

"[The model] helps schools navigate the various complexities and law they must follow on this topic," Perry wrote KTVB in an email. "School districts across the state have different policies on this topic, and with our attorney, we can assist with adjustments based on community need that meets the complexities and laws that public schools must follow. It’s also very important for the public to understand that schools accommodate kids on all kinds of different needs and would likewise accommodate a student who’s uncomfortable with the type of policy being discussed in Caldwell."

The Blaine County School District (BCSD) has a similar gender inclusion policy, though not word-for-word off the 3281 model. The policy has been in place since 2016, according to the BCSD website.

Community members opposing the policy proposal in Caldwell testified to concerns over biological boys in women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.

BSCD serves roughly 3,400 students, according to Superintendent Jim Foudy. Since implementing the gender inclusion policy in 2016, the district has seen zero reported instances of a student abusing the policy to the detriment of others, Foudy said.

The ISBA has not seen any such reports either, according to Perry.

The policy must align with state and federal laws including Title IX - a federal civil rights law prohibiting sex-based discrimination. The BCSD gender inclusion policy - and 3281 - cite Title IX in the legal clause of the policy.

However, the 11th Circuit U.S Court of Appeals upheld segregating Florida public school bathrooms strictly on the basis of biological sex. The Dec. 30th ruling overturned the original Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County ruling where a transgender student argued segregating bathrooms strictly by biological sex violated the constitution's equal protections clause and Title IX.

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