Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

In New Ulm, culture wars at forefront in local school board election


October 18, 2022

Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Minnesota Street, New Ulm's main street.

Last spring, 150 residents signed a petition in the southern Minnesota city of New Ulm asking school board members whether it's appropriate to include instruction on "sexual and gender identity" in the youngest elementary school classrooms.

No school board members responded to the petition, which echoed a controversial Florida law passed this year. But when a moderator posed a question about busing at a recent school board candidate forum, the most outspoken in a slate of conservative challengers piped up.

"I'm going to jump off the bridge here a little bit and take note of something that hasn't been asked this evening," said Michael Thom, a 67-year-old retired accountant and father of five. "A petition was delivered to the school board, asking them to state whether they agree or disagree with the proposal that classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation ..."


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