Earlier this week, Rajbhandari was part of a group that announced the Eve Devitt Fund, a scholarship and mutual aid fund for trans youth in Idaho. (@_Shiva_R / Twitter)
Shiva Rajbhandari is graduating from Boise High Friday night, at the same time that he’s continuing to serve as a Boise School District board member. Earlier this week, he joined City Cast Boise to discuss what that’s been like, including his critical tweet at Gov. Brad Little for signing House Bill 71, the youth trans healthcare ban.
Q: Can you expand on what you meant by saying that your tweet at the governor would do less damage than his words and HB 71?
A: What I said to the governor is basically what the governor said to trans and non-binary youth around our state. And I think the only difference is that my words didn’t come with a law that basically outlaws these kids’ existence, whereas the governor’s did. What’s most upsetting is that there are so many other real issues that we’re facing in Idaho … and this kind of culture war politics that our Republican super-majority is playing is not in the best interest of anyone.
Q: What’s your experience been like serving on the Boise School District board?
A: Coming in, I thought the school board would be the end-all, be-all of education decision making in our district, and what I’ve learned is there’s just so many folks who are involved. It’s such an incredible process that we go through in the district to make sure that the way we are approaching problems, the way we are approaching the day-to-day activities in our schools is balanced and well-thought out. It’s been the honor of my lifetime.
Q: Do you plan on staying on the board for your whole two-year term?
A: I do, because I think it’s important to have a student perspective on the board. What’s unfortunate is I will be graduating, and then I’ll no longer have that same perspective. But [with the new student advisory committee] we’ll have a ton more students coming that are already trained, which will allow them to be a lot more effective in shaping the policies of our district, so this is really a long-run thing for me and our district.