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According to this article, “Edina Public Schools said in an e-mail that it can’t comment on litigated topics, but that the district respects student free-speech rights.” They issued that statement after students filed a lawsuit after “school leaders revoked the Young Conservatives Club’s status as a school-sponsored organization.” The school revoked this organization’s status because “members of the Young Conservatives Club” spoke out against a protest.

The article noted that school “policy mandates that students respect others who protest.” Attorney Erick Kaardal said that policy “violates the Flag Code. Ending the Young Conservatives Club because students spoke out against policies contradicts the free speech guarantee in the First Amendment.”

Mr. Kaardal will win this lawsuit for his student clients because they absolutely have the right to protest against protesters. The school’s policy of being respectful towards protesters is well-intentioned but unenforceable because anti-protesters don’t have to be respectful. As long as the anti-protest protesters aren’t violent or advocate violence, they’re protected by the First Amendment. The First Amendment states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

This is the constitutional equivalent of safe spaces, which is in keeping with the ‘snowflake code’. It’s one thing to wish for respect. It’s quite another to require it.

As for Edina Public Schools’ statement that they respect free speech rights, that’s nice PR fluff but it doesn’t have much to do with reality.

This article highlights the lack of institutional accountability at the Minnesota Board of Teaching. The article starts by saying “Minnesota teachers accused of engaging in sexual misconduct or inappropriate behavior with students have not been reported to law enforcement.” What’s astonishing is that the Board “does not consider itself a mandated reporter of allegations of sexual or inappropriate behavior involving teachers and students.”

Alex Liuzzi, the board’s interim executive director, said “The specifics behind some of this conduct often may reflect unacceptable and unprofessional behavior and/or boundary violations, but do not constitute criminal conduct and law enforcement involvement. Liuzzi then added the milquetoast statement that “The Board has an obvious interest in ensuring that the teachers who have engaged in inappropriate or illegal conduct are appropriately disciplined when warranted.”

Frankly, that’s unacceptable. This is, too:

The state Legislature passed a law earlier this year, after the Hughes case became public, which will require the board to notify law enforcement of such allegations — but only if it takes disciplinary action. That means the board will continue to act as a gatekeeper in which its process determines which allegations should be investigated by law enforcement. That law will go into effect next year.

Here are the people who refuse to report teachers to the proper authorities:

This should frighten parents and anger taxpayers:

The board’s disciplinary process, which occurs behind closed doors, takes at least 30 days and would essentially delay criminal investigations that often depend on immediate access to evidence. Reiter says law enforcement should be notified within 24 hours. “These cases must be investigated criminally so these people can be held accountable,” she said.

The law that the legislature passed sounds like it’s watered down, most likely because of intense lobbying by the various teachers unions. The last thing they want is a system that guarantees accountability.

This St. Cloud Times article is about 15 students who walked out of their classes to protest President Trump’s decision to rescind DACA.

According to the article, there was a teachable moment. According to the article, “Sartell-St. Stephen Superintendent Jeff Schwiebert, who taught civics in Mount Vernon, Iowa, for 22 years, said the demonstration served as a teaching moment. ‘So we had to have a little conversation about what civil disobedience is,’ Schwiebert said. ‘And when you’re doing a protest, that’s what you’re doing. You’re disobeying or disagreeing with a law that is in place. In this particular case, they responded very, very well to it.'”

It’s indisputable that that’s a legitimate teaching moment. Unfortunately, I’m afraid, another teachable moment might’ve gotten missed. Did Superintendent Schwiebert, or any of these students’ teachers, teach the students about why DACA was unconstitutional. Did these teachers tell these students that DACA would’ve been a legitimate law if Congress had passed it and the president had signed it? Did these teachers explain to the students that the Constitution doesn’t permit a president to unilaterally create new benefits for anyone, especially illegal aliens? That’s exactly what happened.

If these students’ teachers didn’t teach them those lessons, why didn’t they? Is it because the teachers are activists first, teachers next?

The protests in Sartell weren’t the only DACA protests in Minnesota:

There’s a simple solution to this situation. Unfortunately, Democrats have nixed that solution:

A top Senate Democratic aide said that the party would be open to agreeing to items such as additional drone operations, fencing and sensors; but not a “presidential vanity project. We are open to security that makes sense,” the aide said, noting that the party had agreed to a similar exchange—albeit on a much larger scale—when it put together a comprehensive immigration reform deal in 2013. That measure included some $40 billion for border security measures.

Republicans should immediately tell Democrats that a major compromise on the Republicans’ part requires a major compromise from Democrats. The compromise that Democrats proposed represents a major compromise from Republicans. It doesn’t represent a major compromise for Democrats.

This is the sort of deal that President Trump criticized on the campaign trail. If he accepts this deal, his credibility as a great negotiator will instantly disappear. President Trump must insist that his wall gets funded in exchange for DACA. Trump should insist that the wall be built so we don’t have to worry about another batch of DREAMers 5-10 years from now.

Border Patrol agents were deployed away from the border by President Obama so they weren’t in position to prevent illegal immigration, drug smuggling or human trafficking. A serious border wall can’t be deployed away from the border once it’s been built.

That’s a politically defensible position because it strengthens Republicans’ campaigns in blue collar districts in the Midwest. If Democrats insist on getting their way with DACA, they’ll get clobbered in the 2018 midterms.

Hearing Angie Craig and Rebecca Otto talked about education should be considered cruel and unusual punishment. First, I have to talk about a statement Ms. Craig made during the event. She said “I’m running for Congress in 2018 and I’m coming back to claim our seat.”

Though she wants to focus on education, Ms. Craig apparently isn’t interested in history. It’s been quite some time since a Democrat represented MN-2 in Congress. According to Wikipedia’s history of CD-2, Republicans have held the seat 66 of the last 74 years. That’s a pretty red district. But I digress.

During her presentation, State Auditor Rebecca Otto sounded like a typical far left liberal, saying “A lot of the politics that end up getting passed by the politics of greed end up running over our interests and the common good. The people’s interest and our values, 2018 will really be defined by the politics of greed versus the politics of people and the common good. The politics of greed say all taxes are bad and need to be slashed. That all regulation is bad and must be repealed. That all government workers are bad and must be privatized – that’s our roads, our airports and our schools. As your governor, no public funds are going to private schools.”

Translation: I’m owned by Education Minnesota. The achievement gap will continue or get worse.

I’d describe Ms. Otto’s messaging as scorched earth messaging. There isn’t a hint of nuance to it. The implied message behind Ms. Otto’s words is simple: Republicans are evil. They only look out for themselves. Initially, I thought that this was her messaging to be the DFL gubernatorial candidate. I’m not certain that’s the case anymore. I think there’s a possibility that that’s just who she is as a candidate.

If Republicans get to run against Ms. Otto, it’ll be a gift. She’s an environmental extremist who voted against mining leases, then tried fundraising off of that vote. She’s suing the legislature for limiting the State Auditor’s responsibilities. That lawsuit is costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. What’s worse is that she’s going to lose that case.

Finally, she’s a Metrocrat that hates mining. Considering the fact that Donald Trump thumped HRC on the Iron Range last year, that’s a significant gift to the Republican candidate.

Minnesota is one of several states in the nation leading in education with one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation. As Alpha News reported in 2016, Minnesota led the nation with the highest achievement gap when it came to science scores between white and black eighth grade students.

Ms. Otto needs to work on her presentation skills:

That’s brutal. She won’t get another chance to make a first impression with that audience.

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People will insist that I’m being overly dramatic about refugee resettlement. That’s fine. Some members of St. Cloud’s City Council have already suggested that people who’ve asked for information on the economic impact of the State Department’s refugee resettlement program are racists. The St. Cloud Times has accused people who have simply asked for information of being bigots or Islamophobes. While visiting St. Cloud in October, 2015, Gov. Dayton told lifelong residents that they should leave Minnesota if they didn’t accept Somali refugees. Our congressman, Tom Emmer, is disinterested in the subject.

According to this KNSI article, “St. Cloud residents voiced their concerns about refugee resettlement at Monday’s city council meeting. A group of five people addressed the council asking for refugee population statistics and economic data, saying they haven’t been able to get any answers on the issue.” After they spoke, Councilman George Hontos made a “motion for a study session on refugee resettlement.” Hontos’ motion failed on a 4-3 vote.

The cowardly councilmembers who voted against even talking about the issue were Steve Laraway, Carol Lewis, John Libert and Jeff Goerger. City Council President Lewis attempted to defend her vote by saying that it’s “a federal issue, it may have some state implications, but we really have nothing we can say.”

Lewis is right in the sense that the refugee resettlement program is a federal program run through the U.S. State Department. It’s also a cowardly answer in the sense that refugees use local resources like schools, hospitals and other resources. Those things are definitely within the City Council’s purview.

It’s important to note that this motion wasn’t on a resolution condemning the program. It was a motion to spend a study session studying the impact the program has on St. Cloud’s transportation system, schools and hospitals. Goerger, Laraway, Lewis and Libert were too cowardly to even agree to that.

When those councilmembers are up for re-election, I hope St. Cloud residents remember that these councilmembers voted against transparency and accountability. In my opinion, those politicians are a disgrace. Here’s the video of Gov. Dayton telling lifelong Minnesota residents they should leave:

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Willie Jett, the superintendent of St. Cloud schools, “plans to present a draft of a plan to the school board at its Aug. 9 workshop.” Everything you need to know about Jett’s proposal is found late in the article. That’s where it says “The proposed plan also recommends Jett and St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis form an advisory task force to work with the planner, city and school district. The advisory task force’s meetings would be open to the public. Von Korff emphasized the task force’s role would be to provide advice to the city and district but it would not be a decision-making power.”

After I led the media portion of the Vote No campaign in 2015 and after the bonding referendum was soundly defeated, the St. Cloud Times wrote an editorial criticizing the School Board for not collecting enough public input. In that editorial, they insisted that more public input sessions be held. Shortly thereafter, the Board announced a listening tour, which actually turned into a presentation tour with limited input from the public and large PowerPoint presentations from the Board. (Surprising, right?)

Last week, after the Board announced that they wouldn’t repurpose Tech to become the District offices and welcoming center, they announced the purchase of the Minnesota School of Business for $5,600,000. It isn’t coincidence that the School Board is forming another advisory board. This advisory board will have little actual input into the School Board’s final decision.

This is just the Board’s latest dog-and-pony show. This Board isn’t trustworthy. Willie Jett, Al Dahlgren and Jerry von Korff are hoping that we won’t notice that they’re playing the same game. They’re hoping we’ll be satisfied with more bureaucratic sleight-of-hand.

Dr. Jett, Messrs. Dahlgren and von Korff, you aren’t trustworthy. This sham won’t repair your reputations. It will only enhance your reputations as being untrustworthy.

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This SCTimes Our View editorial definitely isn’t letting the St. Cloud School Board off the hook for intentionally misleading the public.

For instance, in their editorial, the Times wrote “What’s the price of the public’s trust? That’s the question the St. Cloud school board and administrative leaders foisted upon their constituents Thursday night when the board voted 5-2 to purchase the shuttered Minnesota School of Business site and use it for administrative office space. There is no denying that vote fully contradicts the spirit of a plan to move those administrative offices into a vacated Technical High School. As residents remember, that idea was sparked by a high-powered citizen advisory group that district leadership created and leaned heavily on to earn voter approval last fall to build a new high school.”

Since Thursday night’s vote, the citizenry has peppered Board Chairman Dahlgren and Vice-Chair von Korff with questions that don’t flatter either man. As for most of the questions, most focus their attention on things like “District leadership warmly embraced that idea, which very likely helped convince some voters to support building a new high school — which still only passed by less than 1 percent.”

I’m determined to finish these men’s political careers. They’ve slithered to explanations like Chairman Dahlgren’s “The recommendation of the committee was taken under advisement and was presented as one possible option. No action was ever taken by the board and no person has the authority to make decisions or promises on behalf of the board. It would take an action by the majority of the board to do so. That did not occur here and if there is any misunderstanding within the committee, it is certainly that — a misunderstanding.”

With all due respect to Chairman Dahlgren, I certainly don’t know that it’s a misunderstanding. Based on the recent slipperiness of the Board, it might easily be an intentional deception. I certainly won’t give Chairman Dahlgren the benefit of the doubt.

We sit on the board as fiduciaries to fulfill the constitutional obligation to educate the children of our respective communities. As much as we respect your recommendation to make the move to Tech work, it has become clear that the plan is unworkable,” Von Korff stated. “We’re not looking at the (Minnesota School of Business) alternative because we don’t care about you, the (mayor), or the neighborhood, or the (city). The plan to move into Tech is unworkable, and if we were to spend more than ($12 million) to execute this plan, we would be justly crucified for wasting education.”

Indeed, the entire deal popped up so quickly on the public’s radar screen that even key members of the high-profile advisory committee were surprised and had to communicate their displeasure via a letter.

At this point, why shouldn’t residents think that this deal “popped up” at the last minute to avoid public scrutiny? The public didn’t have the opportunity to question the Board. They didn’t have the opportunity to check whether the Tech estimates were inaccurate. After the Board’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it hearing, there isn’t much trust left in the reservoir.

At this point, the best option for the citizenry is to throw these bums out. They’re arrogant but they aren’t trustworthy.

After reading this article, I think it’s fair to question whether we’ve identified St. Cloud’s village idiots. We’ve either done that or we’ve identified 2 thoroughly dishonest members of the ISD 742 School Board.

According to Jenny Berg’s article, “District efforts to determine the feasibility of moving offices to the old Tech uncovered numerous obstacles, according to Board Chair Al Dahlgren and Vice Chair Jerry Von Korff. They estimate the cost of moving to the Tech facility is upwards of $12 million, which is more than $6 million more than moving to the Waite Park facility.” That’s a bit frightening since Ms. Berg wrote that “At the time, officials estimated the cost to repurpose the 1917 and 1938 buildings to office space would be between $8 million and $12 million.”

This stinks to high heaven. First, am I supposed to think that Dahlgren and von Korff didn’t know that the Waite Park facility was available or might become available before the referendum? Next, the School Board approved the purchase on a 5-2 vote, with “Board members Shannon Haws and Monica Segura-Schwartz [voting] against the motion.” Ms. Haws is quoted as saying “Did we mislead the community and our voters? Absolutely yes.”

Ms. Haws is exactly right. The Board misled the community, most likely intentionally. The Board was upset when their 2015 referendum was defeated. They weren’t going to be denied 2 consecutive years.

Kat Patton joined the rally to share her frustration with the school board and her worry about the future of Technical High School and the site. “I live in the neighborhood. I don’t want to see it be ripped down and sold,” she said. “It’s a historic site. It belongs to the community.”

Patton said the school is part of the city’s identity, and doesn’t want to see it become condominiums or sold to a private developer. She said she wants the building to become a community center, museum, arts center or historical center. “If we destroy our history, what do we have left?” she asked.

Ms. Patton doesn’t have to worry about Tech getting sold and turned into condominiums. The School Board most likely wants to have it turned into an Islamic center. That’s been one of the worst-kept secrets in St. Cloud in recent years.

These are the slithering snakes that misled St. Cloud residents:

This is why I’m calling von Korff a slithering snake:

Von Korff said the school district is not in the development business, but that the district has the “moral and ethical commitment” to make sure the site is used in a way that supports the neighborhood, downtown and community at large. “I am really sorry that people heard that we made a promise, and I’m not trying to take that away,” he said. “The economic development authority needs to step up to the plate.”

Mr. von Korff, don’t lecture us about the school district having a “moral and ethical commitment” to make sure the site is used in a way that supports the neighborhood and downtown St. Cloud. You didn’t hesitate in selling out the Tech neighborhood. You don’t have any credibility left.

Dahlgren and von Korff are career politicians and DFL political hacks. Their trustworthiness is virtually nil. It’s time to throw these bums out ASAP.

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After reading this article, I’m almost mad enough to throw the entire ISD742 school board through a brick wall. They’ve proven beyond all doubt that they aren’t trustworthy. That means they shouldn’t be given the authority to handle large-scale financial matters.

Last winter and spring, I frequently said that the School Board’s Advisory Board was a PR scheme. This article proves that I was right. I’ll return to that theme in a little bit. First, here’s what touched off the firestorm. According Ms. Berg’s reporting, “Several high-profile leaders are urging St. Cloud school board to reconsider a plan to purchase the former Minnesota School of Business building for the district offices and welcome center. The leaders were part of an advisory group created by Superintendent Willie Jett charged with finding solutions for the fate of Technical High School if a referendum to build a new high school passed last November.”

Jett’s plan all along was to win over a higher percentage of voters who live within walking distance of Tech HS. Those living near Tech HS raised serious objections to abandoning the neighborhood. The easiest way to get past that sticking point was to appoint an advisory council that could be ignored once the votes were counted. That’s what appears to have happened:

Kleis said Tuesday the plan to purchase the Waite Park building instead of repurpose Tech surprised him. “All the discussion from the neighborhood and the district was that the administration would be in that historic Tech building,” he said. “Having that commitment was something I knew was positively received by the neighborhood and I think influenced the outcome of the referendum.” Kleis said the advisory committee was formed after a referendum failed in 2015, and members spent hours at listening sessions trying to gather input and find solutions.

Check out the School Board’s double-talk:

Jerry Von Korff, school board vice chair, responded to the letter by stating the plan to move administration to Tech proved “unworkable” because the rehabilitation cost estimates are out of line with the district’s means and no one else has stepped forward with a viable plan to develop the rest of the building or land. Meanwhile, the district could purchase the former Minnesota School of Business building at about half the cost of moving to Tech, he stated.

“We sit on the board as fiduciaries to fulfill the constitutional obligation to educate the children of our respective communities. As much as we respect your recommendation to make the move to Tech work, it has become clear that the plan is unworkable,” Von Korff stated. “We’re not looking at the (Minnesota School of Business) alternative because we don’t care about you, the (mayor), or the neighborhood, or the (city). The plan to move into Tech is unworkable, and if we were to spend more than ($12 million) to execute this plan, we would be justly crucified for wasting education.

Von Korff is the school board’s vice chair. Here’s what Al Dahlgren, the school board’s chair, said:

Board Chair Al Dahlgren said the superintendent and school board never promised the district would move into a repurposed Tech. “The recommendation of the committee was taken under advisement and was presented as one possible option,” he stated in a response to the advisory group’s letter. “No action was ever taken by the board and no person has the authority to make decisions or promises on behalf of the board. It would take an action by the majority of the board to do so. That did not occur here and if there is any misunderstanding within the committee, it is certainly that — a misunderstanding.”

Let’s be clear about something. While there wasn’t a formal contract signing, the people on that advisory committee considered that a formality. To hear von Korff and Dahlgren say that repurposing Tech wouldn’t work or that they never committed to it is the epitome of slipperiness.

It’s time to throw these bums out. That’s what’s supposed to happen to people you can’t trust.

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John Hinderaker’s post about the left’s indoctrination of grade school and high school students is frightening. For years, conservatives have heard stories about how Democrats were indoctrinating students. John’s posts, both on the Powerline website and the Center for the American Experiment’s website, go into frightening detail of how Democrats intimidate and bully conservatives.

In his post on Powerlineblog, Hinderaker quoted a student’s email to the Center for the American Experiment. It said “The day after the election I was texting my mom to pick me up from school and she almost had to!! Every teacher was crying in class, one even told the whole class ‘Trump winning is worse than 9/11 and the Columbine shooting.’ The amount of liberal propaganda that was pushed every single day in class this year was worse than it’s ever been–and you’re bullied by the teachers and every student if you dare speak against it. Yeah its horrible, the teachers can absolutely do whatever they want. The administration will do nothing about it!! The day of the election every single student was in the commons chanting ‘F*** TRUMP’ and the teachers never did anything. A LOT of people are starting to complain and my mom has some friends who are leaving the school district.”

That’s just the first of many emails that John quoted. Here’s another:

A parent describes her daughter being abused in class in an email to a school administrator:

In talking with [my daughter], it came out that yesterday in my 10th grader’s AP World class, [the teacher] called out any Trump supporters and asked them to assure the class that they weren’t racist. Both my husband and I were aghast and we felt strongly that we should say something to you. … Yesterday’s incident in her class really surprised us as it is so completely inappropriate and unprofessional. If you talk with [the teacher] about this, please don’t mention my daughter. She doesn’t want to be identified for fear of retribution.

Talk about paranoid. This teacher had Trump supporters “assure the class that they weren’t racist.” Where does this teacher’s thinking come from? It’s downright paranoid. Shouldn’t schools eliminate teacher candidates who are this paranoid and ill-informed?

Thanks to the good work of the Center for the American Experiment, we know about Edina’s government schools’ corruption.

It’s certain that we wouldn’t have found out through the Pi-Press or the Strib. That isn’t surprising since they agree with the Democrats’ agenda, especially the Strib. Now that we know that this is what our K-12 funding is going towards, it’s time we insist that things change. It’s time that we insist that teachers expressing political opinions in classrooms be terminated immediately with cause. They’re paid to teach, nothing else. It’s time we insist that teachers bullying students based on political beliefs be terminated immediately with cause. There’s no justification for bullying based on a student’s political beliefs.

Check out John’s post at Powerlineblog and his posts at the Center for the American Experiment website. They’re definitely worth reading.

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