Rajbhandari Runs The Board


Zelda Fishman, Editor-in-Chief

To the untrained eye, Shiva Rajbhandari looks like a normal kid. He just turned 18, he’s a Senior in high school and runs track and field for Boise High. But, just beneath the surface is a person who rallies for climate change all across the country and testifies in front of panels of right-wing trustees with hopes of putting his goals into action. With his latest achievement, he became the first student to hold office on the Boise School District Board of Trustees. 

Rajbhandari started his activism career in 7th grade sitting in Earth Science, learning about climate change. This one topic revolutionized his actions in life as he couldn’t sit back and watch, but had to get involved and demand change. “I rarely saw climate change in the news, even rarer was politicians actually talking about it.” Rajbhandari has consistently been active in the local and state-wide political environment. He has testified in front of the indoctrination task force asking them not to pass bills to undermine the Boise School District education system and allow them to continue to teach critical race theory. While he was testifying he didn’t feel like his voice was being heard by the task force and by the school board, which sparked his motivation for him to solve the problem at hand. 

Before he decided he wanted to run for the board, he was inspired by other students across the nation in their involvement in their school’s decision-making. “I kept seeing students on their school district board and thought, well why can’t I do that?” 14% of school districts around the country have students on their school boards making active decisions about the education they receive. Rajbhandari believes that the most qualified person to be making decisions for students is the students themselves. “I’m the only one on the board right now with boots down in the classroom, experiencing a real Boise School District education. I have a clear idea, as a student, of what needs to be changed and how to change it.”

As for his future, he hopes to attend college next year. He’s interested in studying environmental law as he continues his career as an avid climate activist. The School Board Trustee position is a 2-year long term and as Rajbhandari departs for college, he wishes to appoint another student to the board. Rajbandari hopes that his time serving on the school board will set a precedent for student voices to be heard in education decision-making.