Prior to the November school board elections, I submitted a letter to editor in support of the eventual winning trio of candidates (Emily Larson, Jen Smith, Scott Wenshau on the Sartell-St. Stephen school board). That letter was written to highlight the fundamental truth that parents, not educators, raise their kids. Unfortunately, my letter was never published in print by the Newsleader. The column written by Mike Knaak in the Dec. 23 edition of the Newsleader makes me believe the failure to publish my letter was not the accident the editor claimed it to be when I questioned them on its absence. There is a clear bias against the incoming trio of candidates by Knaak and the Newsleader more broadly. This bias is something we will need to watch closely.
To be clear, the Sartell-St. Stephen community did not elect a trio of candidates promising to restore parental rights because they wanted more of the same political nonsense that we have seen from the Sartell-St. Stephen school district. I am old enough to remember the origin of this district and have great concerns when I see the test scores and educational outcomes of our students in decline. This decline began before COVID-19, and I believe it will continue as long as the push for equity over student achievement persists. This election was a vote for change within the district and change is exactly what we hope to see! We want to see the politics removed from our curriculum and out of our schools. We want good and honest teachers to again teach the basics of reading, writing and mathematics. We must never forget it is parents, not educators, who raise their kids! If we’re going to improve educational outcomes, parents must be part of the equation.
(Editor’s note: This letter to editor was not purposely kept from publication by the Newsleader in November. The letter was submitted to the email file of a former editor who quit suddenly and did not inform the news staff about the letter that had been sent.)