Lindsay Bednar

Lindsay is a mother of two young students in one of the largest school districts in Minnesota, and she is not happy with what she’s seeing.

Lindsay addressed members of the Anoka-Hennepin School Board at its October meeting as a concerned parent, just a few weeks before the school board election.

She had heard far too many stories of schools in the district pushing unwanted ideologies onto students at all levels, from elementary to high school. All of them traced back to DEI initiatives that were overstepping boundaries and breaking trust with parents.

“We do not need teachers asking students about their pronouns. And worse, we don’t need teachers asking students if they have a preferred pronoun that they want kept secret from their parents. That is happening in the district.”

As a former teacher, Lindsay had noticed some efforts to provide information for older students, including the now-infamous Gender Unicorn poster.

At the time, these initiatives were largely extracurricular. Meanwhile, staff and faculty were indoctrinated with a sense of virtue around these efforts.

“People don’t realize how much of an echo chamber education really is. You sit in these trainings, and you’re inundated with these messages, and they are really selling these agendas in a way that makes you feel like you’re supporting these students.”

But when the pandemic hit and Lindsay was home with her kids, she was shocked to learn how far these DEI initiatives had gone. 

Through talking with other parents, she learned that students were being asked to provide two pronouns on the first day of school—one preferred, and one to use with parents. There was a teacher in the district who privately admitted that local students were being socially transitioned without their parents’ knowledge.

“We are crossing the line way past doing things to make kids feel safe and seen, and into the territory of ‘grooming.’ When you are purposely keeping secrets between educators and students, away from the parents, that is a very dangerous territory.”

Lindsay also used to teach in downtown St. Paul at the Multicultural Indigenous Academy, which focused heavily on honoring a variety of cultures. She keeps in touch with several students who have since graduated and started families of their own.

The alumni, regardless of race and ethnicity, unanimously object to teaching their children that their white classmates are oppressors and their black classmates are victims. Nearly all had been personally affected by a DEI-driven policy that hurt more than it helped. 

Lindsay knew she had to speak up. She connected with other local mothers on a text chain to bounce ideas off each other on what could be done. When Lindsay addressed the school board, the Anoka-Hennepin Parents Alliance met beforehand to support her and shared the video afterward with as many people in the community as they could.

Not only did they flip two seats in the school board election as a result—the video footage of Lindsay’s statement to the school board was posted on the Daily Mail and went viral.

Lindsay continues to host her podcast to provide a storytelling platform to those affected by these issues. She has also graciously offered to work with Do No Harm as a resource to parents who are looking to take action in their own school districts.

“When you find people who are like-minded, start collaborating together. Bounce ideas off each other. Create a text thread or a Facebook group. Start organizing. Be there for each other. People feel more comfortable speaking up when they know they have support.”

Today’s students are tomorrow’s doctors, nurses, teachers, parents, and more. It’s on us to make sure they get the best education to succeed.

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