Human Rights Task Force is creating a Hate List…for who and under what authority?
plus 16 pages of public records
A “Kootenai County Watchdog” requested public records from Lake Pend Oreille School District on June 8, 2023. The Boundary County Human Rights Task Force (HRTF) is the focus of this Watchdog’s public records request. I have highlighted my concerns in a bullet point document, but first here are some of my thoughts:
501C 3 (school, education, church, science)
501C 4 (political, lobbyist, etc.)
Other or nothing
o Regarding our Idaho school system:
Idaho Statute 33-1603. SECTARIAN INSTRUCTION FORBIDDEN. No sectarian or denominational doctrine shall be taught in the public schools, nor shall any books, tracts, papers or documents of sectarian or denominational character be used therein.
According to Cambridge Dictionary: SECTARIAN is a person who very strongly supports the religious or political group that they are a member of, in a way that may cause problems with people from other groups.
o In my opinion, if the HRTF wants to make a difference with our school district they should give “suggestions only”, but according to the public records below it seems they are asserting their curriculum ideals in an excessive way throughout the year. If they want to make excessive suggestions:
They should apply to sit on the Curriculum Policy Committee per the Idaho Statutes.
Another option would be to encourage a student to lead an afterschool program.
I get community members can and should offer ideals to our schools, but when is the line drawn as being too excessive?
Idaho Statute 33-512A. DISTRICT CURRICULAR MATERIALS ADOPTION COMMITTEES. The board of trustees of each school district shall appoint a curricular materials adoption committee to advise the board on selection of curricular materials, as defined in section 33-118A, Idaho Code, for use within the schools of the district. Such a committee shall contain a membership at least one-half (1/2) of which is persons who are not public educators or school trustees and shall include parents of a child or children attending a school or schools within the school district. All meetings of the committee shall be open to the public and any member of the public may attend such a meeting and file written or make oral objections to any curricular materials under consideration. Each school district shall have on hand and available to the public the titles, authors and publishers of all curricular materials being used in the district. The public has the right to inspect the instructional materials, except students’ tests, used in the district’s schools.
o Per the Boundary County HRTF membership form:
• We support the dignity and worth of the human being and are committed to the pursuit of the ideals of justice and equality for all persons. We pledge to work for the elimination of bigotry and acts which stem from bigotry. It is our belief that to say “yes” to human rights is the best way to say “no” to prejudice and bigotry.
• We reject the doctrine of white supremacy or any other doctrine that advocates the superiority of one group over another.
• BCHRTF assists individuals, groups and the community in establishing effective peaceful means to eliminate acts of harassment and violence.
• Educate ourselves and others to develop strategies to challenge bigotry and to honor diversity in our region, our nation, and the world.
• Monitor acts of malicious harassment as a way of determining the dimensions of the problem and the threat of harssment and violence based on race, color, ethnicity, gender, religion, creed, sexual orientation or disability.
• Monitor the activities of groups that advocate racial supremacy or which harass persons because of their race, color, ethnicity, gender, religion, creed, sexual orientation, or disability.
By assuming membership in the Boundary County Human Rights Task Force, I am saying:
• I believe in the inviolable dignity of each human being.
• I oppose discrimination, segregation, intimidation, harassment, physical harm, or the denial of equal protection in any form based on race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
• I recognize that it is the racial, social, and cultural diversity of our people that makes Boundary County a rich and worthwhile place to live.
• I support the Boundary County Human Rights Task Force in its promotion of human rights in order to eventually eliminate prejudice.
• Any breach of confidentiality or failure to uphold the principles and purpose of this organization may be grounds for removal from participating in meetings and from its membership.
o According to the Boundary HRTF (and most of other state-wide HRTF’s websites) they support the United Nation’s Declaration. Below are some highlighted points:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights G.A. res. 217A (III) U.N. A/810 at 71 (1948)
• Article 2- Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
• Article 12- No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attack upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
• Article 18- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
o HRTF has created a Hate Report and a Power Point Presentation that is basically a LIST of who in the community they consider to be White Nationalist. They assert themselves as an “authority” to educate others who in the community they consider to be extremist.
o I couldn’t find on the Idaho’s U.S. Attorney website the definition of a Hate Crime/Incident, but according to the U.S. Office of Attorney General in D.C.:
Hate generally starts with bias that is left unchecked. Bias is a preference either for or against an individual or group that affects someone’s ability to judge fairly. When that bias is left unchecked, it becomes normalized or accepted, and may even escalate into violence. When hate manifests against a person or group of people, it usually derives from ignorance, anger, fear, a sense of injury, or a perceived threat to the status quo.
o Some of the HRTF members have used the terms: “Taliban, Anti-School, Anti-Library, Domestic Terrorist, Militant Christian Fundamentalist, Extremist, Christian Nationalist, White Nationalist” and so forth.
o Have the Boundary HRTF and others created an illusion that extremists are in our county and affecting our county to a level that we need the local law enforcement to intervene at an emergency level? I would like to see our local law enforcement’s statistics on Hate Crimes within the county over the last ten years to assure me whether or not we are truly in a state of concern or emergency. It seems there is an attempt to create fear and bring out Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) relapse(s) from longtime residents who remember the Aryan Nations. I can say that does seem like the “theme” from CNN’s video dated September 2, 2022 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDWaa3NshyM). The CNN video was full of disinformation and fear mongering.
o Is the Boundary HRTF a Hate Group that hides behind “Love, CommUNITY, Anti-Bully, Anti-Discrimination, etc.”? They seem to be picking and choosing when these terms apply and who should be labeled. Just because someone’s political or religious beliefs are the opposites of yours that doesn’t mean you should put them on an “EXTREMIST LIST”. It just means that you probably don’t agree with their views or how they want to affect a community… Welcome to America! Everyone is entitled to their own opinions according to the Constitution. Until a person acts in a criminal way against someone IT IS INAPPROPIATE and OFFENSIVE TO CREATE A HATE LIST OF PEOPLE YOU DON’T AGREE WITH. It doesn’t align with the HRTF’s theme of Love, Anti-Bully, Anti-Discrimination, etc… Also, what about being a CommUNITY? Or are we picking and choosing who is allowed to be a part of this beautiful community?
o History has proven that when people start displaying discrimination, crime and even murder may follow. I am concerned that Hate Crimes will be on the rise. Not because of a Christian who doesn’t want sin pushed in his face or a Conservative who wants to run for office. I believe Hate Crimes will be on the rise because some community members are having a hard time ignoring other people’s way of life. Also, we should also be aware that our adult conversations may affect our youth’s behavior. We have had some high school kids stealing and running over political signs.
o As people move into a new area there will be “Cultural Blending” and the locals need to learn to adjust. The Great Migration has been happening for thousands of years and blending of cultures is part of the transition. In addition, many people who are moving to the area are political, medical, and religious refugees. They want to be a part of their new community and that includes politics. They want to make a difference and that difference might be a different way than what Old Families and their social group believe… and that is okay! There must be a thread of compassion and understanding for any community to successfully have a mixture of cultural beliefs. Yes, some beliefs are more extreme either to the left or right side! But we must respect each other unless a crime is committed.
o My concern is that a group of citizens have asserted themselves as trained and educated experts on how to identify extremism. Yet according to their own membership form there is no training, certificates or degrees required to join. What is to say that the other side doesn’t consider the HRTF to be extremist?… Where does this stop, and which side of the spectrum gets to have the authority? I don’t believe either side should. We should all be watching this. If you hear anyone name calling, please stop them immediately or walk away. Don’t give them attention or encourage their bad behavior.
Bullet point document of the 156 pages:
Public Records Request September 1, 2022 – November 2, 2022
• (Email cc shows Jessica Hanna using her government school email) Is it appropriate to receive personal emails on your government email account, server, or equipment? I understand discussions regarding school, but non-school related subject matters should be questioned. I also understand that you can’t control what others send you, but when it is an ongoing basis, should there be a conversation with the sender or should the employee “block/spam” future emails? I personally was told by Jan Bayer (Boundary County School Superintendent) last year to limit my emails to her to only what is related to school business or concerns. The emails sent to school employer Jessica Hanna were not only in excessive amounts, but also obvious that most of them had to do with her position at the Secretary of the Boundary County Human Rights Task Force. We are talking about club agendas, minutes, planning for events, internal conversations about other club members, etc…
• (Page 8.) HRTF agenda #4 report on meeting with school staff.
• (Page 8.) HRTF agenda #11 meeting with CNN (the Library Director, Library Board, HRTF and other key players worked with CNN to paint a picture of extremism in Boundary County. They added Aryan Nations and Ruby Ridge. The Library Board Recall was an election process making the issue political)
• (Page 9) Boundary County HRTF Chair Barbara (Barb) Russell asked Timothy Braatz to condense his HRTF article comparing the library recall leaders to Taliban so that they can add it to one of their columns. (Possibly Bonners Ferry Herald).
• (Page 53 & 55) Mention of updating the power point (PP) significantly (possible PP on who the HRTF consider to be White Nationalist in North Idaho). Also mentions direct ties of Herndon to Redoubt and Fioravanti to Redoubt and JBS. They added this information to the slides. The HRTF mentioned Pastor Henry Yoder and the Ministerial Association. I called Henry. He states he did not attend this meeting and it must be a mention on a previous conversation back in 2020. He states that Lutheran Church’s Pastor Andy (Andrew Hinderlie) tried to claim he believed the HRTF and Ministerial Association should work together. Henry advised him he didn’t believe this to be true and couldn’t speak for all Boundary County churches.
• (Page 58) Meet with (school) staff on MLK/Bullying. Meet with HS (high school) staff to discuss essay and art contest. Request “Not in our school (part of Not In Our Town program). The HRTF asked school staff if they could help. HRTF met with Andrea Fuentes (Curriculum Coordinator) and Jan Bayer (Superintendent).
• (Page 59) Meet with CNN to show power point of “North Idaho White Nationalist”. Told CNN how many Redoubt members are in the area. Described the Lordship Church and Pastor Warren Campbell. CNN wanted a copy of Warren speaking at the 2020 city council meeting about changing the vision statement (the new city vision statement to include “We are an inclusive city that welcomes all people, regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and encourages their participation in city government and city programs. Warren, JBS and others wanted sexual orientation/gender identity to be removed while HRTF and others wanted it to stay).
• (Page 59) Working with school on Idaho Forgotten War curriculum, plus resources for schools, Color of Conscience and Holocaust programs.
• (Page 62) HRTF members are emailing each other making fun of people like Scott Herndon and Heather Scott.
• (Page 97) Discussing Important legislative info that voters need to be aware of when going to the polls.
• (Page 99) HRTF had two meetings with Sheriff Kramer. He watched their power point on who is White Nationalist in North Idaho. Kramer commented on how well the PP was done and did not rebut any of the information presented. Also shared the PP with Bonner HRTF (eventually this PP was passed around many times throughout the region).
• (Page 99) HRTF is working with schools to have the tribe go into individual classrooms and speak with students.
• (Page 99) Library Board
• (Page 100) Assist teachers in teaching digital citizenship and educating parents in how to talk with kids about what they are seeing online.
Public Records Request November 2, 2022 – May 7, 2023
• (Page 4 & 5) Idaho U.S. Attorney Josh Hurwit, Dept. of Justice, CDA Tribe, Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, Community Services, F.B.I. hosted “United Against Hate Engage With Federal, Tribal And Other Local Officials To Combat Hate” event located on CDA Tribe’s event center in Worley, ID.
• (Page 6) HRTF complained in their meeting that they believe Mt. Hall violates their tax-exempt status. They believe the church should give up their tax exemption status if they want to preach religion and politics. They then sent a PRE-filled out IRS Complaint Form and asked their members to submit one. (Note: 1)HRTF and the Lutheran Pastor Andy (Andrew Hinderlie) have their meetings in a church 2) Mike Weland with 9B News wrote an article stating he did submit an IRS Complaint Form but was advised that President Trump signed an Executive Order during his time in office that would not allow the IRS to act on complaints. There has been talk on this subject and many believe that due to the 1st Amendment there is no legal ground. To this day no one in history has won in court)
• (Page 13) HRTF sent their members a copy of the 2021 Spokane Task Force Report (published August 1, 2022). In the introduction it states, “we want all people to feel welcome, safe and valued”. Their three top priorities are:
o Support victimized by prejudice and bigotry (Bigotry definition: stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own).
o Positive human relations
o Monitor and document hate activity, crimes, and incidents.
• (Page 27) Boundary HRTF showed the power point that shows who they believe are White Nationalist in North Idaho again. The group decided to not share to the public due to safety and avoiding disrupters…
• (Page 27) Karen doesn’t like Bobby Read who frequently rants on Facebook (complaining about someone’s 1st Amendment)
• (Page 27 & 28) HRTF meets with Bonners Ferry Chief of Police Zimmerman. He was open to views about changes in the community. He mentions school violence and bullies. He also discussed polygamy. He tells the HRTF he doesn’t care if Len Pine uses his position at the Boundary Chaplin Corp as a Christian ministry. The HRTF wants to follow up regarding this “issue”.
• (Page 28) HRTF met with Middle School Principal Mark Fisk.
• (Page 28) Kootenai HRTF mentioned Liberty Pastors met at the CDA Inn. They also tried to legally stop Candlelight Church from hosting a poll station for voters.
• (Page 28) Boundary HRTF Barbara is going to RE-send their Hate Report.
• (Page 28) Latah HRTF thinks Christ Church is taking over Moscow.
• (Page 28) Montana HRTF is working with Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection (ICAP) on the legality of Constitutional Sheriffs.