Dear Senators Nelson and Weber,
I heard in the conference committee today, you both were against being on the side of the students and were rather on the side of adults particularly principals and administrators.
I hope you know that Minnesota has a horrible and shameful education gap for students of color and students with disabilities. I also hope you know that this comes from students being kicked out of school by the very adults whom parents trust to teach and nurture their children.
Additionally, to become a teacher of color, one must first be a student of color who is actually in class and learns. We can’t just ignore the big elephant in the education room and pretend it does not exist.
I respectfully ask that you vote on the side of the children and families by asking school districts to first try nonexclusionary methods before they kick a child out of school unless of course there is a dangerous element. The status quo isn’t working, and we need to make a change. I ask that you are bold and courageous enough to make a change and side with students and their families. The whole idea of the conference committee is to negotiate not just say no. If you don’t like what the House proposed, then suggest something different, please.
Sen Nelson, I saw a Facebook post where you stated, “we must focus on students’. I could not agree more. Please focus on students and hold the adults (administrators/principals) accountable. You also said, “education is the equalizer, it is the moral issue of our day, it is the racial issue of our day and the economic issue of our day”. Well – such eloquent words need to be backed with votes in the conference committee. I have always known you to be the voice of reason starting way back when I campaigned for you years ago. I beg you to mean what you say and say what you mean by speaking and helping ALL kids succeed in school.
Discipline disparities are linked to education gap and we cannot just ignore it. We must address it with thoughtful and holistic policies. The time is now.
Above words do not reflect any candidate, agency or committee.
Idil – Autism Mom who is really frustrated by the current education system