Candidates Opposing Critical Race Theory, COVID-19 Mandates Win Minnesota School Board Races

November 4, 2021 Updated: November 4, 2021

Minnesota has seen in the latest school board elections a number of wins by candidates opposing critical race theory and COVID-19 restrictions, including in areas that traditionally vote Democrats.

In Anoka-Hennepin, Minnesota’s largest school district serving some 38,000 students and 248,000 residents, Matt Audette won by a margin of over 30 percent. The only key issue on Audette’s campaign website is preventing the infiltration of CRT, which he said divides students based on their skin color and teaches that the most important aspect of their humanity is not their character, morality, or actions, but their race.

While CRT is not incorporated as part of the curriculum in Anoka-Hennepin schools, the district has partnered with the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center, an organization that promotes “anti-racism education” to analyze and address supposed “systemic racism” and inequity. “The school district did take a side, and they are siding with CRT,” Audette warned. “The use of this equity analysis in our schools will affect staff development, and it will eventually get into the classrooms.”

Instead of teaching “concepts of division and guilt” derived from CRT, Audette said he supports teaching about not only racism, but also achievements and successes in racial equality in the history of the United States. He also supports giving parents “complete access” to curriculum on demand.

A special one-year seat on the Alexandria School Board went to Maureen Eigen, who said in October that she opposes CRT because it “does not empower students of color” and “furthers segregation.”

“I don’t oppose CRT because of any political agenda. I oppose it because it’s not right,” she added.

In Lakeville, Cinta Schmitz narrowly won a special election for an open school board seat. A co-founder of local parental group “Informed Fully-Awake Parents,” Schmitz ran on a platform of allowing parents to make decisions for their kids when it comes to wearing masks and receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

“Keep divisive policies that teach racism and intolerance of people with different ethnic backgrounds or skin colors—whether it’s called CRT or any other equity-related term—out of our schools,” her campaign website reads.

The Minnesota wins could be suggesting a nationwide trend, too, according to the 1776 Project PAC, a political action group with the aim to combat CRT in K–12 education and help elect conservatives to school boards in the United States. The PAC reports that as of Wednesday, 44 of the 58 candidates it endorsed have either won or are leading in their school board races.

The 44 candidates backed by the PAC include 13 in Pennsylvania, with four of them sweeping seats in Perkiomen Valley School District, which serves the powerful Democratic bastion of Montgomery County. Also among them are 11 in Colorado, nine in Kansas, four in New Jersey, three in Virginia, and two each in Minnesota and Ohio.

GQ Pan
Reporter