Last Updated on October 27, 2021
The Mankato school board in Minnesota has de facto banned criticism of their activities, and will shut down open forums in their meetings if anyone dares to complain.
During the October 4 meeting of the Mankato school board, a number of concerned parents stood up and quizzed the board on their policies regarding masks, coronavirus testing for unvaccinated users, anti-white critical race theory, and in one case, the vaccine passport-style system that disclosed the vaccination status of all school employees to a large number of unauthorized users.
Many times during the open forum discussion, the crowd applauded and cheered those who were standing up to the school board.
— Chief Trumpster (@ChiefTrumpNews) October 26, 2021
One woman even publicly called out Erin Roberts, the clerk of the school board, for wearing a mask at the meeting but not doing so in public. “Why are you wearing it tonight? To virtue signal to everybody? Because you’re sure not wearing it down at the bar,” the concerned parent said.
“You can sit there and you can say it’s none of our business, but when you are taking my child’s health and making it your business, it is my business.” (READ MORE: Idaho School Board Race: Democrats Vandalize Signs, Intimidate Voters Supporting Anti-CRT Candidates)
As a result, during their October 18th meeting, Jodi Sapp, chair of the school board, announced tough new guidelines designed to shut down criticism. Open forum participants will now be prevented from “calling out or addressing any individual school board or school district staff member,” from making any “crowd noise or grandstanding,” including applause, and from discussing any topic that is not on the agenda of the school board.
If any of those rules are broken, the open forum will be immediately closed, and in some cases the rule breakers will be prevented from participating in future open forums.
A Minnesota school board forces parents to dox themselves before they can speak and bans criticism of specific board members: pic.twitter.com/Ogr2o1yEp3
— Kyle Hooten (@KyleHooten2) October 26, 2021
Sapp further confirmed that everyone who speaks at the meetings has to give their name and home address. One man tried to comment during the October 18 meeting, but was stopped by Sapp. The man eventually gave his full address to the audience, in an attempt to stop “fun people and their friends” from harassing him and causing “property damage,” although his full address was repeated into the microphone.
The policy was seemingly first introduced during the October 4th meeting, as there was no such requirement to publicly state your address during the previous board meeting, held on September 20th. It is unclear what prompted this change.
Despite the fact that giving your address is compulsory for concerned parents, only Sapp, along with school board treasurer Chris Kind, have their address publicly available on the Minnesota school board website. All other board members give their address as that of the school board itself in Mankato.
The new regulations in Mankato come as the National School Boards Association is facing severe backlash for labeling the concerned parents who have been turning up to school board meetings all across the country as being potential domestic terrorists, causing Attorney General Merrick Garland to instruct the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to begin investigating the parents.
On Tuesday, the Missouri School Boards Association decided to officially withdraw from the NSBA “effective immediately” over the letter, and 19 House Republicans have called on Garland to rescind his memo.