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West Ada board members present new policies restricting teachers' instruction

A black car with the West Ada School District logo on it.
Michael Lycklama
Idaho Statesman

The West Ada School District presented new policies at a school board meeting earlier this week that would restrict the content that may be discussed or mentioned inside classrooms.

New additions would prohibit teachers from asking students about their religious or political beliefs, medical history, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, or ethnicity, among others.

The new policy conforms with regulations at the state level that ban discussion of critical race theory or other politicized topics, though teachers are still permitted to present “factually accurate historical events.”

Sam Perez, President of the West Ada Education Association, spoke against the policy.

“I foresee a slippery slope of potential controversies and unnecessary confrontations between patrons,” Perez said.

The regulations also ban teachers from using certain decorations within classrooms. Teachers cannot hang images that depict or symbolize “political, quasi-political, or controversial” topics. The definitions were left ambiguous for individual principals and teachers to interpret.

“This sounds like it’s micromanaging rather than empowering discussion,” said Perez.

The policies will be readdressed at a later date.