A longtime educator said his faith and morals left with him little choice but to leave Minnesota at the end of this school year. He’ll start a new teaching job in North Dakota this fall.
Carl Williams, a teacher of 22 years who has spent the last 11 in the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa district, joined Liz Collin Reports this week.
“I just love teaching. I have a passion for teaching, and I just love my students,” Williams said.
Williams said he has observed a “push away from scientific knowledge and more towards ideological knowledge” in Minnesota’s schools.
He pointed to changes such as new teacher licensure standards and revisions to the state’s social studies standards as evidence of this “ideological” shift in Minnesota’s schools. Specifically, his belief as a scientist that there are only two genders has left him concerned for the future of his profession.
He also referenced a new law that requires Minnesota schools to provide free menstrual products to students, including boys, in grades 4 through 12, saying the law is problematic because these products have no place in a boy’s restroom.
“As a high school science teacher, I try my best to tell the kids that everything that we do has to be data driven. Everything that we do has to be testable and repeatable. So, with multiple gender ideology and white privilege, if that gets brought up in my class, and it does because the kids ask me, I’m open with them, the data just isn’t there,” Williams said.
“All of that other stuff, that’s difficult to hit because it comes out of left field as far as from a science teacher’s point of view,” Williams added.
It’s why after he watched most of the changes be adopted, he decided to leave Minnesota at the end of this school year. With 12 years before retirement, he will start a new position in North Dakota in the fall.
“It was difficult. I absolutely love teaching for BBE. The school district is awesome. The kids are great. My administration is 100% supportive of the teachers and I’ve felt that,” Williams said.
Williams said the trust of his students also played a big role and he would never feel right about “not being honest with them.”
“As far as my faith goes, the verse from Matthew 18 says that it’s better to have a millstone tied around your neck than to lead a little one astray. That is always on the forefront of my mind and I want to make sure that I’m always as truthful with the kids and telling them the truth,” he explained.
“I think you could look at California as an example, because we are about five years behind them in legislation, in our ideology. That’s not turning out real well for them right now. I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and tell me that they’re proud of me for standing up for what I believe in, in my ethics and morals,” Williams continued.
He also commented on the possible repercussions for teachers who don’t toe the line.
“They’re going to hire watchdogs and they are going to go out to look at different schools’ curriculum and make sure they are teaching a certain way. So, they will issue fines to the school district and then the school district is going to have to make changes,” he said. “The pressure is going to come from top down. I work at a really conservative school and the pressure is going to come from outside of them in order to enforce it.
“My wife and I, we wanted to retire from BBE. We wanted this to be the home. I have two grandkids and one on the way. To be in the same area, to be with the same administration in the school district is, was, our aim. We go to church in the area. This move is a direct correlation to what the state has started to mandate.”