Idaho’s school board association is way out front of public sentiment regarding treatment of gay, lesbian and transgender students’ dress, restroom and locker room use and other personal preferences, a new Idaho Politics Weekly poll shows.

Few school districts have even taken up the issue, and only one has adopted the association’s broad reforms.

The new survey by Dan Jones & Associates finds widespread opposition to the association’s new sexual identity standards for students.

In fact, of all the demographic groups Jones delineates in his surveys, only Democrats, political moderates and liberals, and those who say they have no religion are for the association’s new reforms.

The Association only recommends actions to Idaho’s 113 individual school boards/districts. It is up to each district’s board to implement such standards in their own schools.

Here is the Idaho School Board Association’s website where more information is available.

Jones referenced his question with this background:

“The Idaho School Board Association recently released new policy guidelines detailing how schools should approach gender identity and sexual orientation. Dress codes must be gender neutral, same-sex couples may not be treated differently during school dances, and transgender students may use the facilities associated with their identified gender. For example, students may use the restrooms or locker rooms that correspond to the gender identity they consistently assert at school. The vast majority of Idaho school districts have not adopted these new guidelines.”

He then asked those polled if they supported or opposed individual school districts’ adopting such reforms.

And the answer is clear: No.

Some of the numbers:

  • Among all Idahoans, 56 oppose such standards regarding a student’s sexual identification, 36 percent favor them, and 8 percent don’t know.
  • Most men and women oppose the proposed standards, but men are against them, 60-30 percent; women only 51-41 percent.

Usually, younger folks are more accepting of gay and lesbian issues than their parents and grandparents.

But not in this case, Jones finds:

  • 18-29-year-oldsoppose the new standards, 55-41 percent.
  • 30-39 year olds oppose them, 55-40 percent.
  • 60-69 year olds oppose them, 52-35 percent.
  • While those over 70 years old oppose the new standards, 64-27 percent.

One may expect Idaho Republicans to be against the association’s recommendations – and you would be correct:

  • Republicans are against the sexual I.D. treatment suggestions, 71-22 percent.
  • Political independents also oppose the ideas, 50-40 percent.

However, Idaho Democrats favor the reforms, 66-29 percent.

The treatment of gays, lesbians and transgender folks often is a religious issue, as well.

And Jones finds these breakouts to the question:

  • Mormons (whose leaders have made national headlines concerning the recent declaration on treatment of children of gay parents/relationships) are really against the proposed school board policy, 70-26 percent.
  • Catholics oppose the ideas, 45-38 percent.
  • Protestants are against it, 57-34 percent.

However, those who told Jones they have no religion at all favor the new standards, 69-20 percent.

Jones polled 595 adults between Oct. 28 and Nov. 4; margin of error is plus or minus 4.02 percent.