The Idaho Legislature has been at odds recently. Even though the Capitol Building is largely dominated by one political party, there has been quite a struggle over the identity of the state in the past few weeks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred a lot of discussion over the best course of action for representatives and senators to take. The back and forth has affected every part of the state’s government, from the courts, to the classrooms, to the meetinghouses. One senator says it boils down to the culture of Idaho, and the importance of family on that culture.
“Parents have a critical role in the education of their children, even if the parents do none of the teaching,” said State Senator Steven Thayn, the vice chair of the Education Committee for the Idaho State Senate.
He emphasized how parents are a pivotal part of the education of children.
“My message has been plain throughout my career, and that’s been on the important role of parents. Education takes place at home,” he said.
The state lawmaker is no stranger to this philosophy. He believes the community shouldn’t need to rely on the government so much and said that is what the state is currently going towards.
“If you say it’s the government’s responsibility to keep people healthy, then you can justify controlling people and putting limits on their behaviors and their size of gatherings,” Thayn said.
Idaho lawmakers have long talked about the importance of education, and it’s something Thayn has stressed since the COVID-19 pandemic began. He believes the government’s response to the pandemic could determine the future of Idaho.
“To me, it’s as much economics as it is a cultural thing,” Thayn said. “The state struggled with transitioning students to an online learning structure, and we need to learn from that to keep students from losing out on good education.”