Roseville school board members recently endorsed the views of a left-wing parent group, whose events are now being promoted on a district website.
A group called Falcon Families for Equity and Justice was invited to give a presentation to the board during an April 12 meeting and appeared alongside Falcon Heights Elementary School Principal Beth Behnke.
The group said it focuses on challenging “unjust systems” and supporting “children from historically and presently harmed, underrepresented and marginalized communities.”
It consists of around 20 parents who organized an anniversary march for George Floyd’s death and a solidarity march for Amir Locke, a 22-year-old who was killed in February during a SWAT team raid when he pointed a handgun at law enforcement officers. The officer who shot Locke won’t face charges.
The group has a “Community Action Committee” that organizes events on “equity and antiracism.” Some of these events include “inclusive reading events,” solidarity marches, and “activism opportunities.”
One of the group’s goals is to provide “educational opportunities” for teachers, parents and students on “antiracism, equity and justice.”
Following the presentation, several board members thanked the group, saying its values “fit within this district’s equity vision.”
Board member Todd Anderson asked what the school board could do to help the group while Chair Curtis Johnson remarked that he had “the honor of being at the Amir Locke solidarity march.”
The group’s events are now listed on the Falcon Heights Elementary School’s online calendar along with a link to its website. One of these events is a discussion of “Nice White Parents,” a New York Times podcast that explores how to “limit the power of white parents.”
In February, Superintendent Jenny Loeck blamed “institutionalized racism” for the death of Locke and lamented the “senseless loss of young black men to violence.”
Just before the public comment portion of the meeting, board member Mike Boguszewski said he “wanted to make at least a brief statement” regarding his support for police officers during this time.
“We just wanted to share our support given the recent police activity that happened and the unfortunate circumstances … when things like that happen, it’s not easy on anyone,” he said. “When it comes to police and police families, they’re part of our community also.”
He was referring to a Roseville police officer who was recently shot in the line of duty.
Community member Alan Holasek criticized the “empty words and actions” of the board.
“I would say to this board, if you really want to demonstrate your solidarity with law enforcement, apologize,” Holasek said.
He said that many parents he has spoken to were “upset” and “disgusted” by the position the school board and superintendent took regarding Locke’s death.
“They understood that it was a clear slander against law enforcement,” Holasek said. “They’re not going to be buying that you support law enforcement, especially when you are giving credence to groups that are holding solidarity marches, clearly making police out to be the enemy.”