In case you missed it, newly elected school board members challenging the entrenched powers and policies running school districts today are facing vicious attacks from their district leadership.

Monday, December 11, 2023, two members of the Elk River School Board, John Anderson and Mindy Freiberg, were censured by their fellow board members. It surely wasn’t because the local community had concerns about them, both won their elections by wide margins. Throughout the meeting, the over-capacity crowd wholeheartedly supported the two candidates and repeatedly cheered for them, only to be “shushed” by Board Chair Holly Thomson. Rep. Walter Hudson provides an excellent play by play of the debacle.

The district hired Attorney Michael Waldspurger to “investigate” the two board members. After combing through emails and conducting numerous interviews, his recommendation for “censure” was based upon the following accusations:

1. Sometimes late for meetings,
2. Talking to teachers,
3. Talking to constituents,
4. Asking about curriculum,
5. Talking to legislators about policy and funding without explicit board authorization,
6. Being “unprepared” for meetings. (This meant they ask unplanned questions during the board meetings.)

There was a time when this was called doing your homework!

But their greatest offense was violating a Code of Ethics policy based upon the 209 Model Policy created by the Minnesota School Board Association (MSBA). It establishes the permitted communication “protocol” between school board members and the superintendent, district staff, and the public. Even though Policy 209 requires board members to “listen” to other members of the district and community members, Attorney Waldspurger said staff members had been made “uncomfortable” by direct conversations with Anderson and Freiberg.

He also identified their direct contact with community members and legislators as violations.

Policy 209 states that members must “come to the meetings prepared for discussion of the agenda items.” Attorney Waldspurger said Anderson and Freiberg were “unprepared” because they had failed to provide all their questions to the superintendent in advance, specifically by noon of the Friday prior to the Monday board meeting. Apparently, no spontaneous questions or discussion can be raised at board meetings! As Rep. Hudson states, the net effect is to suppress any genuine deliberation. The consequence of Policy 209 puts school board members in a position where they have no authority to inquire or to be transparent before the public! School board meetings are meant to be public forums!

We have to wonder, as the Center of the American Experiment did, why should we bother electing school boards if they are expected to just rubber stamp whatever the Superintendent wants?

Rep. Hudson said, “District leaders are hiding behind Policy 209 to shield themselves from criticism.” In fact, Policy 209 effectively outsources school board authority to the most powerful, unelected bureaucrat in the district, the superintendent, while simultaneously fully insulating him from any criticism. That’s the way the system is set up. It’s no wonder the public interests are ignored.

Voters are trying to elect school board members who actually represent them and take their responsibilities to heart. But the entrenched powers are so threatened by them, that they organize kangaroo courts to silence members they can’t control.

We highly recommend you listen to Rep. Hudson’s entire podcast. It’s a stunning example of the battle between board members who respond to the voters and a corrupt system that is designed to silence their voices.  As you listen to the attorney drone on about the results of his investigation, it is hard to believe it’s for real.

Alpha News interviewed directors Anderson and Freiberg. Both are “on notice.” According to Director Anderson, the Superintendent “has been after us from day one. I’m realizing that he keeps a list of every transgression.”

This censure is simply a bullying tool used to silence those who would challenge the status quo. Its goal is to intimidate and ultimately remove pro-parent advocates who are working for change, accountability, and transparency, people who dare to stand up to the woke education machine. The censure intends to make them a public spectacle and sends a clear message – challenge us and you will be targeted and shamed too. They demand assimilation like “the Borg” where “resistance is futile.”

This Minnesota story is nationally relevant. Most Minnesota school districts have adopted the MSBA Policy 209. It is the method for controlling school boards, rendering them toothless representatives of the people they are elected to represent.


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December 16, 2023