Shiva Rajbhandari, the young man who ran for and won a seat on the Boise School District Board of Trustees while he was still a senior at Boise High School, has been asked to resign following a tweet containing explicit language directed toward Idaho Governor Brad Little.
The self-proclaimed “Climate Change Activist” has been very vocal in the last couple years in the Boise area regarding environmental concerns. He spoke to the Idaho Dispatch in 2021 regarding his activism.
During his 2022 campaign for Boise School District Board Trustee, he was supported and endorsed by several well known Idaho political figures including Boise City Councilwoman Lisa Sanchez, Representative John Gannon, and Former Idaho Attorney General and Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Jones. The Idaho Dispatch reported on the race here: Some High-Profile Democrats and Other Political Figures are Backing Shiva Rajbhandari in Boise School District Race – Idaho Dispatch
The tweeted comments last night were in response to Little signing House Bill 71 into law, the Vulnerable Child Protective Act. According to the statement of purpose, this new law will:
“prohibit puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries for children under the age of 18 when administered or performed for the purpose of changing the appearance of a child’s sex.”
Idaho Dispatch reported on House Bill 71 here: Bill Addressing Gender Mutilation and Puberty Blockers for Children Amended and Sent to Governor’s Desk – Idaho Dispatch
Here is an image of the profane tweet, directly from Rajbhandari (viewer discretion advised):
One of the calls for Rajbhandari to resign came from Boise resident Darcy Horton. She wrote,
Shiva recently violated the Board Code of Ethics Policy 1126 to “work diligently to build and maintain a relationship of trust and respect with other Board members, the Superintendent, staff, students, parents and the community.”
Shiva disagreed with Governor Little when the governor dared to sign into law a bill that Shiva didn’t want passed. He responded to the governor’s action with hatred and malice. What a horrible example for the community. What a horrible example for school children.
He must be removed from office immediately.”
In response to several emails received by Rajbhandari, he responded by emailing,
“Thank you for reaching out to me regarding this matter. I signed our Board Code of Ethics and I’m proud to abide by that code in all work that I do as a trustee in our district. I agree that schools should be a place where students feel safe and are not exposed to age-inappropriate content and that our district and Board should presume good intentions of all community members, including elected leaders, and treat these individuals with the utmost respect. Please know that individual trustees do not represent our Board and that the views held by individual trustees do not necessarily reflect the views of the Boise School District as a whole. I make it clear in my Twitter bio that my tweets reflect my views alone and are not associated with my role as a trustee in our district. If you’d like to follow along with my work on our Board, I encourage you to follow my Facebook page, Shiva for Boise Schools, and pay attention to official Board communications in our district newsletter. I will keep this invaluable feedback in mind as I craft my social media going forward. Please continue to hold me as well as my fellow trustees accountable and don’t hesitate to reach out regarding any further concerns. Feel free to contact me individually at this email or at my phone number below, as Darcy has done, if you have additional questions or concerns regarding this tweet.Thank you again for your involvement in our district and your commitment to our students and community.Sincerely,Shiva Rajbhandari (he/him)Trustee, Boise Independent School District”
Rajbhandari tonight added another statement to his Twitter account which said in part,
“My strong language is reflective of my anger and frustration with the pointlessness of diplomatic dialogue with legislators and a Governor who have shown such little regard for the lives of Idaho youth. The hypocrisy of suggesting that a profane tweet is more harmful than what HB 71 could unleash on our trans and non-binary youth baffles me. I remain unapologetic in my commitment to our LGBTQ+ community.”
In response to Rajbhandari’s comments, the Boise School District Board released this statement, apologizing to Governor Brad Little on behalf of the District:
More readable images of the statement:
This article was updated on April 7, 2023 with the Boise School District Board statement.
Feature photo courtesy of Boise Highlights
Tags: 2023 Idaho Legislature, 2023 Legislative Session, Boise School District, Boise SD Board of Trustees, Brad Little, BSD, HB71, House Bill 71, Idaho Governor, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Shiva Rajbhandari, Twitter, Vulnerable Child Protective Act