‘Deplorable’ and ‘belligerent’ GOP lawmaker accused of igniting chaos at school board meeting
Idaho Republican Party

An Idaho newspaper's editorial board laid into a Republican state lawmaker over his "bullying and threatening" outburst during a recent school board meeting.

Newly elected state Sen. Chris Trakel (R-Caldwell) "displayed deplorable, belligerent behavior" when he berated Caldwell school board members Monday night at a meeting over a proposal to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identity and to permit LGBTQ students to participate in overnight trips, wrote the editorial board for the Idaho Statesman.

"Angrily yelling at volunteer school board members unless they do what you say is sadly becoming all too common," the editorial board wrote. "Such threatening behavior is a form of bullying, and in some ways illustrates the need for the policy to begin with. Such intolerance of LGBTQ students is harmful and unacceptable. It’s perhaps even less acceptable for a state legislator who’s using his position to do the bullying and threatening."

School board members say Trakel's outburst caused others in the crowd to become unruly and abusive, and the editorial board called for the state legislature to make an example of him.

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"There is an unfortunate track record of Idaho lawmakers invoking their titles for improper purposes — many remember former Rep. Chad Christensen calling for constituents not to dine at Bacon after the restaurant staff decided to pull a curtain around the table he was dining at with armed members of the Three Percent militia," the editorial board wrote. "The House refused to impose any consequences for Christensen’s conduct, so it continued. Will the Senate make the same mistake with Trakel?"