Mankato Area Public Schools’ equity framework document says “a racial equity lens is a vital decision-making tool at a policy and practice level” and refers to school policies multiple times. I think that this is going to create a call-out culture that undermines the teachers’ ability to control their classroom.

I refer to a parent from Portland Public Schools, who said in 2016: “In my daughter’s former second-grade class, scuffles were the norm ... bullies targeted emotionally vulnerable kids while hijacking precious classroom resources. When we raised safety concerns, we were told Portland Public Schools is committed to inclusion and equality, and discipline must be administered through the lens of equity. This blind commitment undermines student safety and exposes a vast majority of students to unpredictable, dangerous behaviors.”

I personally helped in second-grade classrooms across the district teaching Junior Achievement. My favorite teachers were very strict but also very loving.

At the beginning of the year, they were always stopping their classes to deal with behaviors. Kids could have interpreted this as being mean or sexist/racist/unfair. But by the end of the year, there were very few interruptions, mostly just positive encouragement.

Other teachers that would discipline less never got to that point, there were always disruptions in their classrooms. They taught for the same district with the same policies.

I do not see how School District 77’s current equity framework is going to help create a cohesive and loving classroom, instructed by accountable teachers, if everyone is concerned they will be called out.

Good teachers know what they are doing. Just let them do it and directly focus on teachers that need more training.

Elizabeth Hanke


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