We understand the concerns that have been voiced and want to reassure our public that our first priority each and every school day is the safety and security of our students and staff in the Boise School District.
We are committed to providing a high quality education that is free from sex and gender-based harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. To that end, any and all claims are fully investigated and addressed through our comprehensive policies regarding student conduct. Certain claims may also be subject to Federal Title IX rules.
While we cannot comment on the results of specific investigations, we can assure our parents and our community that all claims of which we are aware, including the tragic incidents recently reported in the Idaho Press, were thoroughly investigated, with remedial and supportive actions taken in accordance with our policies and Federal Title IX. It is clear, however, that while the processes worked in accordance with Federal Title IX, the results left many feeling unsatisfied and hurt. This is where we can do better. While the law is strictly defined to protect a student’s right to access their education, sexual harassment in any form can cause harm far beyond the classroom. We continually seek ways in which we can support our students beyond the formal investigation and provide the supportive measures they need.
Over the past few years, we have instituted a number of measures to protect student well-being and safety in the Boise School District:
- We have increased and improved sexual harassment and grooming identification training for both students and staff.
- We have added annual Title IX training for all District staff. We have increased counseling support and dedicated mental health counselors for students.
- We have increased awareness of how students may report inappropriate behavior.
We understand and recognize that the Title IX process can feel very impersonal and bureaucratic based on the steps we are required to take in accordance with Federal Title IX. Providing caring, highly qualified professionals to guide our students through the process is something we are dedicated to achieving and will continue to improve.
For those seeking help, if you are aware of any report that has been made to Boise School District staff regarding sexual harassment or sexual assault that has not been addressed, we need to hear about it. Please report this directly to the District at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, if you are the victim of sexual harassment or sexual assault involving students or staff, whether it happened on campus or not, please report this to the District. The District has a broad array of support for you whether you wish to file a formal complaint or not. You may do this through a variety of District channels: talk to your counselor, tell a teacher, send an email to email@example.com, or use our online reporting form.
With regard to Laura Boulton, a teacher at Timberline High School, Ms. Boulton is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation in accordance with Board Policy 5210 - Administrative Leave. Personnel matters, such as this, are of a highly sensitive nature and both Idaho law and district policy are written to protect the rights and privacy of all individuals involved.
We can confirm that Ms. Boulton was placed on leave for the reasons specifically outlined in the leave letters provided to parents and referenced in the CBS news report posted on September 26, 2023. The leave letters referenced in the above news report indicate that Ms. Boulton was placed on leave to investigate allegations that she undermined colleagues and academic programs, spread misinformation to students and staff, manipulated students, harassed colleagues, and preyed upon vulnerable youth for her own purposes. The allegations regarding Ms. Boulton that required the District to place her on leave are unrelated to any incidents of inappropriate sexual relationships with students.