MN school district policy bans teaching “divisive concepts”

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Baker, Min. , A central Minnesota school district is clashing with teachers’ union and LGBTQ allies over a proposed policy that opponents say would undermine equity and inclusion.

The resolution by three members of the Baker School Board prohibits “political education or the teaching of inherently divisive concepts” in the district’s schools.

Policy opponents say the district is trying to suppress free speech, suppress LGBTQ students and advocates, and prohibit accurate teaching of history and other subjects. According to the Star Tribune report, some groups are threatening to sue the district if this policy is implemented.

It’s the latest on a list of polarizing issues that have surfaced in classrooms across the country, including displaying pride flags, teaching important race theory, and supporting marginalized students.

“Frankly, it’s hard to know where to begin with the problems with this general policy statement,” said Meg Luger-Nicolai, attorney for the statewide teachers union Education Minnesota. The oath of allegiance is subject to discipline because it requires showing a bias in favor of America and its flag.

A Wisconsin school district recently reinterpreted an existing policy to include a ban on displaying gay pride flags in classrooms and the inclusion of preferred pronouns in email signatures.

When the Keitel Moraine School District posted the policy on social media, it sparked hundreds of comments in protest.

And earlier this year in Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law new guidelines covering race-based discussions in schools as part of his campaign against critical race theory, which he called “harmful” ideology. . The law prohibits directives that state that members of a race are inherently racist, and must feel guilt for past actions by others of the same race or their status as privileged or oppressed. determined by caste.

In the Baker District of Minnesota, 47 miles (75 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis, the proposed policy would stipulate that “neither political preaching or the teaching of inherently divisive concepts be permitted” and that classes be free from any personal bias. must be free.

The school board first read the policy in July, but none of the members discussed it. The Board’s policy committee plans to meet again after the proposal is reviewed by a legal advisor, possibly before the next board meeting on September 12.

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