Every student—regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability—should feel safe and welcome in our public schools. Indeed, federal and state laws safeguard our students from discrimination, intimidation and harassment based on many of the same protected characteristics.

The ACLU has long worked to uphold and protect the constitutional promise of a safe, free education—unimpeded by discrimination. A promise that has unfortunately been jeopardized for the students of Middleton school district.

Regardless of the intent of a teacher’s actions in the classroom, we must focus on and give weight to the impact of such actions on the students who rely on teachers and other school officials for guidance and support throughout their educational experience. School districts, their staff and other agents have obligations under federal law, state law, and district policies to prevent and protect students, staff, and others from discrimination, bullying, intimidation, and harassment.

As such, Middleton school district should take this incident as an opportunity to proactively engage the student body, teachers, school administration, and the wider Middleton community to create a welcoming environment where all students can thrive. It is critical that, in coordinating a solution and steps forward, the district engage and proactively work with members of the impacted community.

We encourage parents or students to contact the ACLU of Idaho if they experience harassment, bullying or retaliation to file a complaint with the ACLU of Idaho, fill out a complaint from here. The complaint form is available in Spanish here.

ACLU of Idaho
208 344 9750