#4ThePeople: Your candidates for Coeur d’Alene Public School Board Zone 4

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — This November, your vote will determine the future of city councils and the path forward at local schools.

4 News Now is again launching 4ThePeople, a project dedicated to answering your questions about candidates and where they stand on issues.

One spot up for grabs this election is a seat on the Coeur d’Alene Public School Board.

Lesli Bjerke and Lindsey Swingrover are running for the Zone 4 seat. 4 News Now reached out to both candidates for an interview.

Swingrover shared her thoughts with us. However, Bjerke said due to a hectic campaign schedule, she is not able to add anything else at this time.

For the past 10 years, Swingrover has been a psychologist for the school district.

“Mental health is definitely where I’ve seen kids impacted the most,” she said.

Swingrover said she would like to see time blocked out for elementary students to check in with them on an emotional level.

“I would like us to have programs. I would like us to have interventions and supports for kids who come from all backgrounds,” she explained. “I really, really, really deeply believe in teaching kids coping strategies early.”

The candidate shared her thoughts about a mask mandate for the school district.

“If I had been on the Board in September, I probably would have voted yes,” Swingrover said. “I don’t think I’ll ever have to make that decision though, because I don’t think that Delta’s gonna be where it is in January.”

On Sept. 24, the school board was scheduled to discuss a possible mask mandate in a special meeting. It was canceled just minutes before. The board was met by a large group of people hoping to attend the meeting, many of which were protesting any kind of mask mandate.

Protesters later gathered outside the district building, which also prompted the building to go into lockdown.

Another hot topic — the controversial critical race theory.

“It’s just fear-mongering. Critical race theory is not taught in schools. It’s not taught in Coeur d’Alene Public Schools,” Swingrover said.

The district confirmed it is not being taught.

As far as levies, Swingrover says she has voted yes for them in the past.

“So I think that right now is the time to have somebody with a mental health background on the school board making those decisions,” Swingrover said.

Again, Bjerke was offered to be a part of this story, but she declined the offer.

#4ThePeople: What questions do you have for candidates in the November election?

READ: Coeur d’Alene School Board postpones meeting on possible mask mandate as protesters gather