New teachers are trained to believe parents have no place in their kids’ education, according to a former Mounds View Public Schools teacher.
Alpha News looks behind closed doors in Mounds View Public Schools on season two of the podcast “Trapped!: Chaos in the Classroom.”
“We’re training teachers to believe that parent involvement is bad. That it is toxic; that they don’t know what they’re talking about,” said Mary, who taught in the district. She asked to be identified by a pseudonym for fear of retaliation. “Teachers are scared, too. We get tons of information from our union about how we have to be mindful of what we do and say.”
The teacher told Alpha News that she loves the profession but she doesn’t like what the education system has become. She said most parents would be shocked if they could see what happens in their kids’ classrooms everyday.
Because Mounds View Public Schools boasts a 90.6 percent graduation rate, parents may not realize reading proficiency in the district is at 57 percent. Math is below that.
As in many Minnesota public schools, violence in Mounds View Public Schools is up, according to teachers who spoke to Alpha News, while standardized test scores are trending down. Instead of focusing on reversing that trend, educators are steeped in social justice topics, the podcast explains.
“I’ve had years where, daily, I’ve had to take all 25 kids out of the room and find a different place to sit. That could be in a hallway or in a library or maybe the corner of a gym if it happens to be open or a corner outside,” Mary said. “I’ve had many years where a child will completely destroy and tear apart my classroom … And the way we respond to that is we exit the other 25 kids who are sitting in trying to do their jobs, and that child gets to have a tantrum.”
Bad behavior is overlooked. That’s led to a rise in violence in the upper grades. Violence has become a top concern in Mounds View high schools, teachers said.
One student said ordinary lessons get converted into virtue signaling. Subjects that should be neutral turn into lessons on social justice.
“[If] we’re talking about literary elements, all of our examples are going to be social justice warriors, and why they’re amazing,” the student said. The student asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. “They’re not telling you directly, ‘Do this, think this [way],’ but all of their actions, all of the assignments are showing you these actions are normal for people your age. I feel that it’s inappropriate for teachers to do that.”
The student said some teachers take it too far.
“One of my teachers showed up to class, you know, wearing pink. Everyone was wearing pink for the school spirit. We already finished with the major lesson and we were doing our own group work when he takes out a pussy hat and starts wearing it around the classroom,” she said. “We were like, ‘What on earth is that?’ I couldn’t focus on my work the rest of class.”
She said she and her friends are afraid to use the bathrooms at school.
“We’re going to try not to use them unless we absolutely have to like it’s a last resort,” she said. “There was this guy who would go into the girls’ locker room. He would change in there. He would use the girls’ bathrooms.”
She said many of the bathrooms are locked because kids would use them to do drugs.
Teachers, parents, and students said administrators are pushing an ideological agenda.
“We’re coaching kids and teachers if you’re not standing up and joining movements, then you’re not a good human,” one teacher said. “Racism exists, anti-LGBTQ exists. And if you’re not on the side of social justice pushing to get rid of these things, then you’re not a good human.”
One parent, who has since put all of his kids in private school, said he was forced to have a conversation with his first grader after his son’s music teacher was captured in a viral video saying her “goal” is to confuse students about her gender.
“I shouldn’t have to be having these talks with my son in first grade. It’s something we wanted to wait a lot longer [to discuss], but now they’ve more or less forced us into having these tough conversations, which is not fair,” said Bob, a parent. “He doesn’t have the cognitive ability to have these pretty deep conversations.”
The student who spoke with Alpha News said kids go to school to get an education, not to learn about their teachers’ political views.
Alpha News reached out to Mounds View Public Schools for comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Sheila Qualls is an award-winning journalist and former civilian editor of an Army newspaper. Prior to joining Alpha News, she was a Christian Marriage and Family columnist at Patheos.com and a personal coach. Her work has been published in The Upper Room, the MOPS blog, Grown and Flown, and The Christian Post. She speaks nationally on issues involving faith and family.