OP-ED: The CDA School Levy Vote – Parents Versus Wokeness

Editor’s note: The CDA school levy did not pass. Multiple residents have contacted True Idaho News to say they are not inclined to provide more money to a district that disrespects their input and continues to teach woke ideology.

This past Monday the board met and the superintendent, Shon Hocker (pictured), paused many extracurricular activities (e.g., sports) and will not reinstate them unless the levy is passed.  A word for this used by some parents is extortion. True Idaho News was told that no discussion occurred at the board meeting about maintaining separate bathroom and changing facilities for biological boys and biological girls. Instead, a high school is planing a walk-out.  Again, a word for this could be extortion.

Bob Shillingstad is just one of multiple CDA residents who has contacted True Idaho News to share his frustrations. His Op-Ed appears below. Perhaps it’s time the people who get paid by the residents of the CDA district should listen to the concerns of the residents of the CDA district.


Op-Ed by Bob Shillingstad

The views and opinions expressed by contributors to True Idaho News do not necessarily reflect those of Shadowtrail Media, LLC, its founders, or owners.


The failure of the Coeur d’Alene School District levy on March 14th has resulted in another attempt to pass it again in May. Superintendent Shon Hocker and the school board showed no self-awareness after the failure. Instead, they blamed the failure to pass a levy on the ignorance and stinginess of the electorate.

They fail to see their commitment to a woke agenda that they are not willing to acknowledge or apologize for. They fail to see the impact of their snubbing and rejection of parents who pleaded in the fall of 2020 to drop mask mandates and have a relatively normal school year.

The arrogance of the school board resulted in parents voting with their feet. Nearly 10% of the families left the district for charter schools, private schools, or home schooling. The district has lost students in the subsequent years, too. In fact, they have 200 fewer students this year compared to last year.  This has all happened in a period of record population growth in North Idaho.

Covid fear took the mask off

The upside of all their Covid fear is it took the mask off what is being taught in the schools and the materials being made available in schools and libraries. Critical race theory, transgender teaching, choosing your own pronouns, and trashing our nation’s history has taken precedence in education. The CDA education establishment is absolutely committed to this teaching.

Having boys in girls’ restrooms, boys participating in girls’ sports, and students deciding their own pronouns is not only confusing but conflicts with thousands of years of history – and the teaching of principles found in the Bible. The attack on families and parental authority is not only an aberration, it is at the center of what we are up against.

Superintendent Hocker calling a halt on school groups using the Skateland property because it is owned by Candlelight Church and “plays Christian music” was a message to the community. Apparently it doesn’t matter that any instrumental music is fine at the facility.

The CDA district seems to have adopted the Idaho School Board’s belief that a school board can be woke and be on the vanguard of cultural rot.

Amazingly, the local paper and TV stations have no inclination to dig deeper into any of this controversy.

Parents have been lied to, manipulated, and locked out

The people have been lied to, manipulated, and locked out. They’ve lost trust in many institutions. Not only education, but also health care and many aspects of local government. No wonder states like Arizona allow education dollars to follow the student so parents can have a choice in their children’s education.  This idea is spreading quickly. After this year, nearly a fourth of the states will have a similar option for parents.

It is sad when parents walk away from the local government schools. It is not as easy as changing your grocery store or gas station.  This is a major split. But if you are a parent or patron with traditional values and speak up, you are labeled a racist, homophobic, sexist and/or filled with hate.

The school boards and administrators will try to make it about money and the uneducated electorate who are believing lies but who instead should follow the wishes of their “qualified” or “certified” betters.

What some have called the “parents’ revolt” is spreading across the country, with parents in numerous other jurisdictions organizing around school-board elections and education policy. What is the response? An arrogant and defensive stance by our ruling class. What kind of mindset sees concerned parents bringing up matters at a school-board meeting as some sort of “domestic terrorism” threat? (The same kind that turns peacefully protesting truckers into “insurrectionists,” I suppose.)

In what previous age of American history would it be appropriate for secret targeting and federal investigations of people engaging in our bedrock institution of participatory democracy?  Who calls people racist for wanting their kids to learn basic math, science, and reading?

Rather than understanding this reality, too many Idaho Republicans are out there leading campaigns to increase funding for ideologically hostile education systems. If they were following Republican principles, they would be using their political power to upend their cultural opponents’ recruiting and indoctrination centers.

Doing something about all of this requires conviction. Will common-sense parents have the conviction to continue the battle in May?


Bob Shillingstad is a resident of Bonner County.

The views and opinions expressed by contributors to True Idaho News do not necessarily reflect those of Shadowtrail Media, LLC, its founders, or owners.