Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Setting record straight on NIC

| October 9, 2020 1:00 AM

At a September Town Hall meeting of our local legislative delegation a statement was made by the moderator that North Idaho College is utilizing taxpayer dollars to fund Black Lives Matter. This is not true. Unfortunately, some of our local legislators took that statement at face value and proceeded to discuss removing educational funding from NIC.

This is very concerning that our delegation would leap to de-funding NIC. It's important to set the record straight.

NIC has a long history of supporting human rights and dignity for all. The college strives to be an educational model that shows respect for all points of view and speech. The very fundamentals of higher education are to provide all aspects of learning. The average age of students at NIC is 24. The overwhelming majority are working adults with families who attend to better their opportunities at achieving a higher-paying job.

Faculty has always prided themselves on not teaching students "What to think" but instead "How to think" by using critical thinking skills. As a public institution, faculty are prohibited from advocating partisan views in the classroom but are encouraged through Academic Freedom policies to explore all viewpoints in an academic setting.

The campus fully supports marginalized communities and their contribution to our greater society. Recently, local Pastor Paul Van Noy of the Candlelight Church sent an email to three local candidates for the NIC Trustee election. I have known Paul for years. I was sorry to hear of his COVID diagnosis and glad he is recovering. But I do wish he would focus on love and compassion for all people rather than dividing God's children.

Paul appears to have made a mistake in who he sent the email to so I obtained it. His email stresses his desire to make public what I perceive to be in a negative way NIC's support for minority groups. Paul, you can consider my letter a bullhorn from this trustee that I am proud of NIC for their full support, dignity, and respect for all minority groups.

Here are the exact words from Paul Van Noy sent on Oct. 2 at 2:47 p.m. I did not correct any spelling or sentence structure but did remove the candidate names.

"Please respond to the letter you received from Watchman Ministries. “Watchmen” is one of the many ministries of Candlelight (somewhat under the radar). I do not our team to feel the need to suggest that you guys did not reply. I was also told today that NIC supports BLM, LGBTQ+, Planned Parenthood, etc. and that these groups are named on the NIC website. (I am waiting confirmation and pictures of the site.) If this is true, we need to see to it that this is made very public. I suggest one of you—or a delegate—write an editorial about it for the CDA Press. I would write the letter myself but with all the press coverage I have received lf late it might be better if it was someone else. Blessings upon you men. I support you!" Pastor Paul

While it's disappointing Paul uses his pulpit for political purposes, it's downright hurtful he does not have love in his heart for minority groups and instead works to socially shame them. If anyone reading my letter considers themselves a member of a minority group, please know you have an open door to NIC for a quality, affordable education free from harassment.

Christie Wood of Coeur d'Alene is an NIC Trustee.