The Timberline Paw Print

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The Timberline Paw Print

The Timberline Paw Print

Timberline Students Protest Suspension of Teacher Laura Boulton

Photo by: Stephan Taylor
Timberline students hold signs while protesting teacher Laura Boulton’s suspension.

On Thursday, Sept. 14, a crowd of approximately 150 Timberline students stood across the street from their own school during fourth period. Their cause? Protesting the temporary suspension of math teacher and AAPI* club leader Laura Boulton, who was placed on paid administrative leave just one week before the organized walk out. 

While the reasoning behind her suspension is still unknown, a message sent out early Thursday to all Boise School District Staff and Parent/Guardians cited that an investigation is pending in accordance with Board Policy 5210 – Administrative Leave. This policy acknowledges that when there exists reason to believe that a Boise School District employee has violated any rule or regulation of the State Board of Education, engaged in conduct which could violate the Code of Ethics for Idaho Professional Educators, violated a District policy, or created an immediate or imminent threat to the safety or well-being of a student, self or other District employee, they will be placed on administrative leave. The Boise School District (BSD) also stressed that under Idaho Code 74-106 they are unable to release further information regarding individual personnel matters, and thus exact reasoning for the suspension cannot be given. 

Photo by: Annabel Lawrence
A crowd of Timberline students faces the clock tower during the Thursday walk-out.l personnel matters, and thus exact reasoning for the suspension cannot be given. 

Still, a large group of students gathered on Boise Ave around 10:45 a.m., bobbing with homemade cardboard signs inked in messages like “Bring Back Boulton” and “My voice matters”. Frustrated at the lack of explanation behind the suspension along with conflicting narratives surrounding the situation, students huddled along the sidewalk chanting variations of the same cheer: bring back Boulton. Students could be seen hugging and high-fiving each other, but also focused on the purpose of uniting behind transparency. 

But determination was not the only thing that became apparent within this crowd. Instead, it was a genuine concern for Boulton that fueled these students and their fight. When asked about why she chose to participate in the walkout, Stephanie Liu, a senior at Timberline, stressed the teacher’s true value to our school. “I’m here today just because Boulton is one of the best teachers that anyone will ever have. She is a great role model, and a great person in general to be around… And us, as students… we deserve her at this school,” said Liu. 

I’m here today just because Boulton is one of the best teachers that anyone will ever have.

— Stephanie Liu, senior

Another senior, choosing to remain anonymous, explained how critical Boulton’s impact has been: “Boulton was there for me in 10th grade when I was having a really rough time with school and with my whole family situation. She was always supportive of me, and she always cheered me on, and she’s always been there for all of her students,” they said. 

The environment was truly elevated, however, when Boulton actually showed up to the event, calling out to students via a megaphone from the other side of the street. Although she declined to speak with student reporters and refused to speak individually with students, citing her lawyer’s advice, Boulton’s voice boomed across Boise Ave. As she spoke to the crowd, she reminded  students to stay on the sidewalk and to continue to show the utmost respect and appreciation for all of the staff at Timberline regardless of the events of the day. But as the event winded down, one resounding point echoed from the megaphone: “Do not fight for me. Win for me!” said Boulton. 

Timberline teachers will always do the best they can to teach and advocate for their students.

— Diana Molino, Timberline High School Principal

Although it may not be clear yet what exactly the future holds for Boulton, the actions at the protest pointedly demonstrated students’ frustration about the situation. That being said, Timberline administration and BSD are still not at liberty to reveal the cause for the suspension, and are at this moment in time unable to ease current tensions. Although the Timberline administration could not say much in accordance with the legalities of the situation, Principal Diana Molino emphasized the love within Timberline. “Timberline teachers will always do the best they can to teach and advocate for their students,” said Molino.

   At the end of the day, we all want what’s best for our school community, and that involves the respect and grace of each member. No matter what side you might find yourself on, it’s important for Timberline to stand together during this difficult time. 


*AAPI: Asian American Pacific Islander 


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About the Contributors
Annabel Lawrence
Annabel Lawrence, Editor in-Chief
Hi! I'm Annabel Lawrence, a staff reporter for the Timberline Paw Print. This is my third year at the Paw Print, and I have had an absolute blast these past few years as I discovered a love for journalism. I’m the Editor in-Chief this year, and I absolutely love being on this staff. Through the years I’ve worked on sports pieces, international news, and many other articles, but my favorite kind of news is the stories that unfold around our school and local community. I’m a senior this year, and I’m really looking forward to going to college somewhere on the East coast and eventually pursuing a career in public policy. In my free time I love to travel, hang out with friends, volunteering at elementary schools in the area – really anything! I’m incredibly excited to continue providing news for the students of Timberline and to truly leave my mark on the Paw Print!  
Stephan Taylor
Stephan Taylor, Staff Reporter
Hello, my name is Stephan and this is my first year on the Timberline Paw Print News Staff. I will be a reporter this year doing stuff like pictures for other stories with the occasional story. I do a lot of photography and love to be outdoors and go to big events like concerts or art in the park, and I am excited to cover all sorts of events in Boise this year.
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