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Boise School District plans for changes from new legislation

The district says HB 421, HB 538, and HB 710a will add "unnecessary obstacles" to the district's values.
Boise School District
Posted at 9:55 AM, Apr 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-12 11:55:17-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise School District is responding to possible changes they will have to make because of new legislation signed at the Capitol.

This week, Governor Little signed HB 421, which defines sex as strictly either male or female, HB 538, which bans schools from enforcing the use of preferred pronouns, and HB 710, which limits material that some believe "harmful to minors" available to minors in public libraries.

Related | Idaho Senate passes bills on pronoun use and gender definition

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Each new law will have an impact on the school environment. The school district says Governor Little signing these three bills has caused them "concern and confusion".

"Each bill on its own presents a number of troubling consequences for students and staff." wrote Boise School District Superintendent, Coby Dennis in a statement sent out to the community. "However, when combined they add unnecessary obstacles to our values of respect and dignity, as well as to our commitment to fostering a sense of welcoming, belonging and connectedness for all students. Obstacles that we will overcome together."

The laws will not go into effect until July, so by next school year Boise School District will have to make appropriate changes. The school district did not say what specific changes will need to happen to their current policies.

"Over the next few weeks, we will be working closely with our school librarians, social workers, counselors and principals to develop student-focused strategies and guidelines," Dennis said. "We will also be conducting a detailed legal analysis. While there is very little good news regarding the new legislation, the fact that they do not go into effect until July 1, 2024, does give us time to explore all of our options."