Shelley Joint School District’s superintendent explains that the district worked with the Idaho School Boards Association to adopt “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” policy


The Shelley Joint School District has a policy in place for students titled “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation.” The district has the policy filed as number 3281. Unlike most of Idaho’s school districts that have adopted the policy, the Shelley Joint School District does not explicitly keep parents in the dark regarding the gender identity of their children. Parents Defending Education submitted a public records request regarding the creation of the policy to the district and received a response from the district’s superintendent. Superintendent Chad Williams explained that the district’s Board of Trustees have created recent policies using templates from the Idaho School Boards Association (ISBA):

Over the past few years, the Board of Trustees updated their policies using the template policies provided by the ISBA. When the Board had questions or concerns about specific policies, we consulted our attorney for guidance.

The superintendent then explained the procedure that the Board uses to adopt new policies. He stated that as changes to policies are made, they are sent back to the ISBA for “more guidance and feedback.” He explained:

Here is how I would summarize the process we followed: In public board meeting, we would select two members of the board to review a section of policy, Without reading the minutes of each meeting, I speculate that May 2020 board meeting two board members, and the superintendent were asked to read ISBA’s section 3000 template policies and determine which policies to adopt, which ones not to adopt, and which ones to make small or significant changes to. These discussions took place face to face with the two selected board members and the superintendent. As changes and edits were made, they are sent back to ISBA for more guidance and feedback. If it was determined that more guidance was required, we would consult our attorney.

Superintendent Williams then clarified that the “ISBA and the district attorney were consulted in this process.” He explained that the district adopted the “Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation” policy on July 9, 2020.