The Sartell-St. Stephens School District equity survey allegedly violated the district policy. Some of the questions, viewable in a post from Kids Over Politics 748, asked the students about their religion and their gender identity, which the Kids Over Politics 748 group states violates a policy. According to Kids Over Politics 748, District Policy 520 reads that students will not be asked about their religion, morality, personal beliefs or practices in sex, and family life unless the parents and guardians are notified in writing and the parents give written permission for the questions to be asked.
The consulting group hired by the district, Equity Alliance Minnesota, released the questions to parents and a concerned citizens group, Kids Over Politics 748, after they obtained legal counsel. As reported by The Minnesota Sun, “Sartell-St. Stephens parents and Kids Over Politics 748 have retained lawyers with the Upper Midwest Law Center after the consulting group hired by the school district failed to release the contents of the equity audit.”
The Sartell-St. Stephens School District had come under fire after a teacher told a fourth-grader to “never repeat” questions found on an equity survey to her parents. As reported by The Sun, the student, Haylee Yasgar, “spoke at the Sartell-St. Stephen school board meeting and told the school board how uncomfortable her teacher’s request made her feel.”
In a video clip obtained by The Sun, Yasgar said, “My teacher said that I could not skip any questions even when I didn’t understand.”
The school board made the decision to cut ties with the group that conducted the survey, Equity Alliance Minnesota, when parents and other concerned citizens began speaking out against the survey. As was reported by The Sun, the school board said they got “scammed.”
Parents and other concerned citizens then contracted legal counsel after the district was unable to provide them with the contents of the survey. The concerned parties are currently represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center, which sent a letter to Equity Alliance Minnesota, asking that they release the contents of the survey or face legal action. According to a Facebook post, Equity Alliance Minnesota gave Kids Over Politics 748 a copy of the survey on Wednesday.
Kids Over Politics 748 is calling for the resignation of Chairman Jeremy Snoberger and Vice Chairman Jason Nies because according to emails obtained by the group, both parties examined the contents of the survey before it was distributed to parents. The group says that the chairman and vice chairman knew that the questions violated district policy but went ahead with the survey anyway.
A Facebook post from Kids Over Politics 748 reads, “The questions confirm the very clear negligence of the school board in approving these questions being asked of our students. Policies are made to protect our children, not be ignored when inconvenient.”
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