Minnesota and North Dakota have made the list of enacting the craziest rules in public education in the name of our favorite three-letter acronym: DEI. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are making a comeback this school year, so you would be wrong for those hoping it was just a fad or a phase.
My home state of Minnesota has been a hub for bizarre antics over the last two years, spurred by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. On the other hand, North Dakota generally flew under the radar as the Dakota that wasn’t South Dakota.
But thanks to DEI nonsense, the ‘other’ Dakota is on the progressive map of ridiculousness; congratulations, North Dakota! So let’s look at what these states have done.
Last spring, the first teachers’ strike in 50 years kicked off in Minneapolis for two weeks. The teachers’ demands were smaller class sizes, better benefits, more student mental health resources, increased workforce diversity, and higher wages.
In an attempt to assuage the situation, an agreement was reached between the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers Union and the school district. This agreement states:
“If excessing a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the site, the district shall excess the next least senior teacher, who is not a member of an underrepresented population.”
First, let’s clear up a vocabulary word jammed into this agreement. To excess a teacher is essentially to lay off or fire. So now that we’ve cleared that up, what does this all mean?
Breaking it down into language that I’m sure they’d rather I didn’t, it means that white teachers will be laid off before teachers of color, regardless of seniority. Gosh, you know what that sounds like? Racism.
To add to the craziness on the flip side, if the district can bring teachers back that they have ‘excessed,’ those teachers of color should be considered over white teachers. The agreement says in part:
“The district shall prioritize the recall of a teacher who is a member of a population underrepresented among licensed teachers in the district.”
So, why on earth would this agreement be made? The justification will blow your mind.
To justify this ridiculous agreement, the union and the district say it is to solve for “past discrimination.” The argument is that the usual determination that follows a last-in, first-out concept disproportionately affects teachers of color over white teachers.
Have they considered a third alternative – firing based on teacher performance? Ridiculous, I know, expecting public employees to be held accountable.
So basically, the argument is that most tenured teachers are white, and most of the newer teachers who would typically be at risk of ‘excessing’ if called for are teachers of color. The union agreement goes on to add that:
“Students need educators who look like them and who they can relate to.”
However, based on data from US News, I would argue students need educators who actually educate and that the color of their skin shouldn’t be an issue. According to US News, the graduation rate among Minneapolis public school students is a meager 53%.
Again, the public education system, which includes these unions, doesn’t seem to understand that their priority should be educating America’s children. That playing race games and backing ideologies don’t do anything to elevate the next generation’s education.
So much for equality and fairness, I suppose. There must be something in the water up north because progressiveness seems to be spreading into North Dakota.
The Board of Education in Fargo, North Dakota, voted 7 to 2 to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance at board meetings. Usually, you’d see this in places like California, New York, and Oregon… but North Dakota?!
The argument for this vote will make you fall out of your chair. The board vice president Seth Holden argued:
“Given that the word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized…the text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian God, and therefore, it does not include any other faiths such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism.”
First off, Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe in the same God, the God of Abraham. Amazing that a board of education chairman is unaware of this.
He goes on to say that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in and of itself is a “non-inclusionary act.” It sounds like a setup to spread this elimination to the schools in the district and not just at the board meetings.
Mr. Holden said, in general, he isn’t against the Pledge itself. Still, it can’t be said in a school committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. There’s that DEI again, creeping across the border into Fargo from Minneapolis.
Now according to Mr. Holden, the Pledge itself is inaccurate. He states:
“The statement that we are ‘one nation under God,’ is the Judeo-Christian God…is simply an untrue statement. We are one nation under many or no gods.”
You read that right, under many or no gods. But it gets worse, way worse.
School Board President Tracie Newman supported her vice president in a mealy-mouthed sort of way, stating:
“I’m just not sure that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a useful way to begin every one of our board meetings. I would much prefer that we open our meetings with a shared statement of purpose that would bring us together to do the work of the board.”
I happen to know of a shared statement of purpose that would be perfect to bring a group of Americans together to do good work for a community. It’s called the Pledge of Allegiance. Literally, our nation’s collective shared statement of purpose.
What is the root of these sorts of extreme actions by school boards and teacher’s unions? They want you to believe it’s an evolution towards diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In reality, none of these actions have anything to do with diversity, equity, or inclusion. Instead, these sorts of policies and actions seek to divide us more into our separate camps based on arbitrary traits such as race.
These actions are meant to hurt one group in the name of ‘righting injustices’ and ‘equity’ and exclude others based on the same arbitrary traits like race that we have worked so hard to overcome. The Minneapolis union agreement, as Upper Midwest Law Center senior trial counsel James Dickey states:
“…openly discriminates against white teachers based only on the color of their skin…”
You don’t fight racism with racism, and you don’t create inclusion by trying to erase the things that bring us together as a country. If we aren’t careful, the liberty and justice for all that we used to strive for will be lost.
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