A local author offered a chilling account of a liberal Minnesota state senator meeting with parents whose children are deteriorating under “distance learning.”
Ann Bauer recently sat in on a meeting between Minnesota State Sen. Melisa Franzen and her constituents during which desperate parents aired their concerns about their children who are not allowed to return to school.
Bauer is a Minnesota-based author who was recently given inside access to a virtual town hall between Franzen and her constituents. Bauer did not disclose Franzen’s name in her account — the Minnesota Reformer confirmed it independently.
“However bad/sad/depressing I thought it would be, it was worse,” Bauer opened her report.
“Let me start by saying, this is a wealthy district. Maybe one of the top 5 in the state … I thought, They’re fine! I should be worrying about the families in real need. Well, they’re not fine.”
The parents in the meeting told Franzen “about suicidal kids, their own and others … They described girls who hid in their rooms and cried and boys falling so far behind they might never catch up.”
At one point, according to Bauer, “a teen who looked to be about 15 spoke. She was eloquent and dear and intensely respectful. She started sobbing halfway through and said she got to a place so dark she didn’t know if she’d get out.”
“Two of the fathers cried; one turned off his video because he could not keep it together. Two of the mom had outbursts, and I couldn’t blame them,” she added.
Throughout this emotional meeting, Bauer said Franzen remained “gracious” and “thanked everyone,” but kept her remarks focused on rulemaking and regulations. “Again and again the rhetoric was around safety and infection, variants, systems,” Bauer said.
“There was never a moment when the veil slipped and reality got its due,” she wrote.
The liberal senator then “pivoted” to taking shots at her political opponents by “talking about how she herself had to go to the Capitol because she was a public servant and there were ‘certain partisan senators’ refusing to wear masks,” wrote Bauer.
“We’re just deciding to throw away this generation of kids, like burned toast. There will be virtual committees and task forces assembled while they sit in their bedrooms alone,” Bauer concluded.
“My advice to every parent in [Minnesota] tonight — and remember I’m raw and on edge and probably not in my calmest state — MOVE. We’re one of the few places that is this broken. Go. I would. But tell [Governor Tim Walz] when you do,” she added as a final point in her report.
While Bauer’s account of children succumbing to depression and suicidality is anecdotal, it is a growing concern among child psychiatrists, according to NPR.