(The Center Square) – The Sartell-St. Stephen School District (ISD 748) will cut ties with Equity Alliance MN after the group allegedly spent $80,000 on an equity survey that appeared to violate federal and state laws, as well as the school’s own policy, the St. Cloud Times reported.
The decision followed a Monday meeting in which parents, who through the nonprofit Kids Over Politics 748 obtained legal counsel demanding answers to avoid a possible federal lawsuit.
“This board as well as members of the community have struggled to make sense of the equity audit presented,” Superintendent Jeffery Ridlehoover said during the special board meeting. “The frustration that has ensued has only compounded … the inability for Equity Alliance of Minnesota to provide answers to this board and residents of the school community in a timely manner.”
Ridlehoover suggested starting an equity community derived from parents, staff, community members, and students.
All six board members agreed to cut ties with the group, which provided a survey that a law firm claims was illegal without notifying parents first and allowing students the opportunity to opt-out.
Equity Alliance MN hasn’t responded to a request for comment.
The separation follows 4th grader Haylee Yasgar saying teachers told students to answer survey questions they didn’t understand, including about gender identity, and were told to not repeat survey questions to parents.