Concerns about Critical Race Theory brought to Nevis School Board

A small group of residents shared their concerns at Monday night’s Nevis School Board meeting about the proposed Minnesota Department of Education’s revision of the K-12 social studies standards.

Hallways at Nevis School are ready to welcome students. Custodial staff have been busy cleaning and painting in preparation for school opening Sept. 7. Contributed / Nevis Public Schools

The first draft has been released but the final draft has not yet been completed. They came to the meeting to provide public input into the draft.

The first man who shared his concerns about the Critical Race Theory said he does not believe groups of people should be divided into the oppressors and the oppressed based on skin color.

He claimed that CRT lists whiteness, Christianity and capitalism as the three causes of systemic racism which he believes is a political theory, adding that schools should not be a place for political activism and strongly recommended CRT not be implemented in the Nevis school system.

Joyce Krueger said that since the second draft is expected to come out later this summer and asked when Nevis staff and others in the community would get to provide further feedback.

Board chair Andy Lindow said those with concerns on this or other school issues can contact board members or superintendent Gregg Parks. He also suggested possibly adding a listening session 30 minutes prior to school board meetings in the future so people have more time to share their ideas and concerns. This information will be posted on the website once it has been decided upon.


In other action the board:

  • Accepted the resignation of Richard Johnson as high school social studies teacher with thanks for his 24 years of service. Parks said Johnson has accepted a position teaching social studies in another district. The first five applicants for the position have been interviewed and a committee will meet next week about the hiring process, Parks said.

  • Hired Jake Upton as a full-time K-12 vocal music and general music teacher.

  • Hired Amy Schroeder as district’s website coordinator from July 1 to Aug. 31 while the district transitions to their new website.

  • Heard a report from facility manager Dustin Wroolie spotlighting the ongoing preparations by custodial staff for the new school year, including painting and returning furniture to the classrooms that was removed last year for COVID-19 social distancing requirements.

  • Hired Michael Murray as a nine-month evening custodian. He will primarily be responsible for the elementary school and setting up the evening work schedule.

  • Accepted Jodi Sandmeyer’s resignation as co-student council advisor and Lynne Gustafson’s resignation as yearbook and co-student council advisor with thanks for their years of service.

  • Accepted a quote for gasoline for school vehicles from Luetgers Oil at six cents under the pump price.

  • Approved an annual resolution renewing the high school’s membership in the Minnesota State High School League.

  • Approved the use of up to five Electronic Learning days to continue classroom instruction during periods of inclement weather.

  • Heard from board chair Andy Lindow that the golf tournament that raises funds for the Pam Lindow Scholarship Foundation will be held Aug. 6 at Tianna Country Club in Walker.

  • Heard from Principal Brian Michaelson that the new staff workshop will be Aug. 26, the district in-service Aug. 31, a teacher work day and open house Sept. 1 and a teacher workshop Sept. 2.

  • Heard an update from Michaelson on activities at the school in August which include Summer Adventures Aug. 2-6 and Aug.9-13, Kinder Camp Aug. 23-25 and pre-K summer school Aug. 23-27. The first day of school will be Tuesday, Sept. 7.

  • Heard that work on the district’s five-year plan will begin this fall. Anyone interested in being part of the process should contact superintendent Gregg Parks.

The next school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday Aug. 23 in the school media center and on Zoom. More information, including the agenda, will be posted on the school website.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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