Watch: Chairwoman of school board orders parents to give home address in order to speak at meeting

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MANKATO, MN- On Tuesday, October 26th, a video clip of a Minnesota school board meeting showing the chairwoman ordering parents to give their home addresses in order to speak, has gone viral. 

Jodi Sapp, chairwoman of the Mankato school board, was seen in the video of the October 18th meeting telling a man that he could not speak unless he disclosed his home address.

The man immediately objected, but eventually gave in after attempting to give vague answers citing concerns that his house would be a target for vandalism.

The viral bleeps out the man’s home address and notes that Sapp repeated the man’s address to ensure it could be heard by all others in attendance.

Sapp previously announced that anyone who commented during the open forum was not allowed to criticize members of the school board and that the meeting “was not a meeting that belongs to the public.”

Reportedly, if anyone violated the rule the the open forum would be immediately closed for the rest of the meeting and the offending individual would be barred from ever speaking at a future school board meeting.

Sapp also said that any audience reaction to forum commentary, including applause and cheering, would also result in the open forum being closed. 

Minnesota-based Alpha News reported that the change in the open forum policy came after the school board’s October 4th meeting in which a number of people spoke out against district mask mandates and vaccination policies and a number of audience members applauded community speakers. 

However, the Mankato Area Public Schools Meet the Board website states that it wants to hear from residents and urged them to share their stories, ask questions, give insights, and offer ideas. At the beginning of the October 18th meeting, Sapp said:

“Before the open forum, I would like to review a couple of things. Each speaker is asked to state his or her name and address for the record. Failure to do so will result in an individual not being allowed to speak.”

She also stated:

“Open forum participants are prohibited from calling out or addressing any individual school board or school district staff member. Crowd noise or any sort of grandstanding during open forum, including applause, talking, hollering or any outburst will result in open forum being close.”

Sapp added:

“Further, beginning at the Nov. 1 school board meeting, open forum participation will be limited to those individuals who wish to speak to an item on the board agenda.”

Mankato residents have mostly shared their concerns about a resolution passed by the board on August 18th that requires face masks for all “Mankato Area Public Schools K-9 students and staff regardless of vaccination status when inside district buildings and on school buses.”

In a separate incident, a surgeon with a health clinic located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, was let go after speaking at a school board meeting on parents’ rights to decide health protocols for their children, including whether or not to make them wear masks. 

Since then, Minnesotans and scores of others beyond the state are rallying for Dr. Jeff Horak and freedom of speech. 

Horak, who worked at Lake Region Healthcare for 15 plus years and has been practicing medicine for six decades, made the remarks at a Fergus Falls school board emergency meeting to vote on a mask mandate. The meeting was on October 11th and he was notified that he had to resign or be fired on October 20th. 

Following his stepping down, Horak said:

“We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what’s best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don’t believe governments or institutions should dictate that. It’s a position I’ve always taken and when the science doesn’t make sense, it’s hard for me to go along.”

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

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After explosion in student violence, city council that got rid of school resource officers brings them back

October 15th, 2021

Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. 

And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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ALEXANDRIA, VA – Following a spate of violent incidents occurring at Alexandria City Public Schools, the city council narrowly voted to reallocate school resource officers at middle and high schools earlier in October – despite the same council having voted to remove officers from schools just five months earlier.

Following an hours’ long debate that stretched into the early morning hours of October 13th, the Alexandria City Council voted 4-3 in favor of restoring SROs in middle and high schools for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year.

Much of what reignited the debate of SROs, after the council voted to have them removed from school five months earlier, came after a series of videos made the rounds online that depicted fights involving Alexandria middle and high school students.

The collective footage is disturbing.

On and around school grounds, Alexandria middle and high school students can be seen punching, kicking, and stomping their peers and adults – all captured on cellphone cameras. These recordings were shared all over social media and ultimately found their way to news outlets.

A violent attack in a school cafeteria was captured on camera, as was a parking lot fight with a group of kids kicking another student who was lying on the ground.

High school students assaulted a man inside a McDonald’s restaurant near Alexandria City High School in another incident captured on camera.

The video shows students engaging in a heated verbal confrontation with an adult male customer, which quickly escalated into students punching and kicking the guy in the face and head.

Jennifer Rohrbrand, a local parent in the community, said the following about the incidents depicted on video:

“When I watch these videos, I would say my reaction is shock, complete shock.”

Evelin Urrutia, the executive director of a local NPO, found the footage concerning – but somehow still feels that eliminating SROs from schools was the right choice because she feels that uniformed officers can intimidate minority students.

Damon Minnix, who is both an Alexandria Police officer and President of the Southern States Benevolent Association, says quite the opposite – noting that uniformed officers in schools serve as a valuable deterrent to violence and other crimes:

“Wherever you have a police officer, safety tends to follow.”

Superintendent of Schools Gregory C. Hutchings Jr. literally pleaded with the city council to bring back SROs in light of the violence impacting the schools in Alexandria:

“I’m pleading with the City Council this evening that we reinstate our school resource officers immediately.”

This past May, the city council voted to remove SROs and reallocate the $800,000 budget toward onboarding more mental health professionals for schools. However, despite the SROs having already been ousted at the onset of the 2021-2022 school year, no additional mental health counselors had even been hired.

The city council meeting that started on the evening of October 12th and ran for six hours into the early morning of October 13th saw rigorous debate between those conceding that SROs are needed and those claiming there is no correlation between violence in schools and the absence of SROs.

Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson found himself agreeing with parents that these concerns of violence are legitimate and grew tired with some members of the city council pushing back so hard against the idea of reinstating SROs in schools:

“I can’t think of a bigger waste of my time than what just happened for the last three hours. I thought we were going to have a productive conversation about how we move forward in our community on a problem. I don’t think we had that…This sucks. This is disastrous”

Despite the back and forth during the city council meeting, a consensus was reached to reimplement the SRO program for the remainder of the school year, with additional discussions to take place on what long term solutions will look like in future school years.

Do you want to join our private family of first responders and supporters?  Get unprecedented access to some of the most powerful stories that the media refuses to show you.  Proceeds get reinvested into having active, retired and wounded officers, their families and supporters tell more of these stories.  Click to check it out.

LET Unity

While schools stateside are dealing with the ramifications of removing police officers from middle and high schools, and thus some are reverting the irrational decision of removal, schools across the pond are policing innocuous language. 

And the language police stems from wanting to shield children from criticisms that could potentially upset them. 

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Schools starting to ban terms like ‘good’ and ‘bad’ when describing students’ behavior

(Originally published October 14th, 2021)

LEICESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND- According to reports, the headteacher of a school in England wanted to remove “emotional words” from classroom management, so the terms “good” and “bad” are no longer allowed to be used when describing student behavior.

Teachers at Loughborough Amherst School will now describe good and bad behavior as either “skillful or unskillful.” Headmaster Dr. Julian Murphy stated that the policy, loaned from Buddhism, was “designed to take the emotional heat out of language.”

Dr. Murphy said that while he did not want teachers to be “soft,” he didn’t want them to be “shouty” either, or to make “pupils feel guilty.” He added:

“I think it’s human psychology, even when you’re an adult – if people make you feel guilty, then you get angry and then actually that’s when you’re likely to play the blame game and not to work that well. That’s when things get into a big of a vicious cycle.”

Dr. Murphy continued:

“You’re not really angry with them, your action is actually much more one of concern because they’re behaving in an extremely unskillful way, which is going to negatively affect the [sic] chances and possibly those of people around them.”

The headteacher maintained, however, that he still ran “quite a strict school,” claiming that there was a “cumulative behavior policy” that could result in expulsion for handing in homework late too many times or frequent littering. 

Dr. Murphy’s methods made headlines in 2018 when he banned traditional school reports, instead replacing them with a biannual report modeled on employee reviews in the workplace.

Murphy, who runs the £12,000-a-year private school, stated that at the time the decision was prompted by pushy parents who would complain that teachers’ remarks criticizing their children’s efforts or behavior were upsetting. 

As a result, most reachers self-censored in reports, instead filling them with “waffle” and other euphemisms to describe a child, such as “chatty” or “high-spirited,” when they mean disruptive, in order to avoid the wrath of parents. Dr. Murphy added:

“It is a cultural change, now parents are more likely to say to teachers: ‘You have upset my child, you have damaged their confidence, the problem isn’t my child, it’s you.’”

Reportedly, parents had recently lashed out over claims that a new teacher dubbed the “UK strictest teacher” had allegedly scolded children for not speaking loudly and clearly and for demanding they pay attention to him when he leads a class. 

In September, Mr. Barry Smith had been brought in as a consultant on improving The Abbey School in Faversham, Kent and had been “previously praised by Government ministers for his impact on school improvement.” 

While working in other schools, Smith had introduced strict uniform policies, including banning certain haircuts and rules on the lengths of girls’ skirts as well as confiscating mobile phones. 

Mr. Smith made a similar appearance at the De Lisle College in Leicestershire earlier in October, with parents complaining about the “new discipline regime,” including claims children were being “forced to smile constantly” at teachers and staff.

While teachers and parents have been in conflict in certain schools over maintaining order, one principal at a London school appeared to lose control entirely to its students, who demanded social justice action at their school. 

Sparked by Black Lives Matter activism, hundreds of students at Pimlico Academy in London had protested over what they called “discriminatory” uniform policies, including banning hairstyles that blocked the view of others, such as afros, and colorful Islamic headscarves.

They also protested over the flying of the British flag, which in September 2020 students had taken down from the pole and burned. 

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