The Cassia County School District amended a 15-year-old board policy over the summer to create a ‘community’ committee with an eye on opening its governing process to parents, among others. It didn’t last the summer, and here’s why.
The Cassia County School District, following a 15-year-old board policy and Idaho Code, voted last month to approve applications from three registered sex offenders who requested permission to drop off and pick up their own children, and attend academic conferences and extracurricular activities involving their own children.
It’s a process that has played out for years without making the news — until now.
A summertime amendment to the policy aimed at transparency that created a “committee of community members to assist in reviewing and making recommendations for approval or denial of each application,” according to the district, spectacularly backfired, leading to multiple contentious meetings in August, a flurry of backlash and accusations on social media, and even threats of recall against the elected members of the board.
The school district also reserves the right to change requirements or revoke approval to enter school property at any time.”
That isn’t enough for the parents and other school stakeholders who took to social media to vent their frustrations — including Kyrie Riley and Kade Craner, who were among the members of the community committee that pushed the district to reject all three applications. They appeared on a Facebook video channel called “Shane Talks Politics” with a host who displays anti-Democratic Party memes, pictures and comments, Bible verses and appeals for Christianity, and anti-transgender and LGBTQ+ content on his page.
She added, “The end. You wouldn’t have to come up with special privileges, you wouldn’t have to come up with special, oh, like you can be on school grounds if you have a chaperone. There would be nothing. It would be just, ‘Hey, the answer is no. See the beginning of the law.’”
The nearly 150 comments largely piled on the school board, with some commenters incorrectly arguing the registered sex offenders had lost their parental rights by being convicted of a crime and others dragging religion into the conversation.
“They gave up the right when they committed the act. NO!! They don’t belong there!! Our kids need to be safe!!” one commenter wrote.