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School board unanimously approves resolution; seeks to uphold inclusivity values in process to seek alternative curriculum

The school board unanimously passed a resolution on Feb. 28, 2024, emphasizing its commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion in the district's instructional materials. This resolution represents an important step in affirming the district’s commitment to recognizing and respecting the various identities of our students, staff, and families.

C. Colin Cox, Board Chair, stressed the importance of this resolution, stating, "Passing this resolution with unanimous support makes our stance crystal clear: the school board wholeheartedly supports the diverse identities represented in our community. In particular, we are proud of our district’s literacy program, which includes books with racially and culturally diverse families and characters as well as LGBTQ+ families and characters.”

The resolution aims to provide school leaders and educators clear guidance on instructional materials and the process to review or seek alternative curriculum, as they engage in discussions with families about classroom instruction and work to honor requests for alternative instruction.

In the resolution, the school board shares its belief that the Minnesota law that allows for requests for alternative instruction based on representation of protected classes in instructional materials conflicts with the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The school board calls upon the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Walz to change the law to prevent requests for alternative instruction based on the representation of protected classes, affirming the district's dedication to fostering inclusive learning environments.

“As a parent and a school board member, I fully support our district's commitment to equity and inclusion. Parents across our community want the same thing: a great education that gives students the critical thinking skills necessary to succeed in our diverse world,” shared Abdihakim Ibrahim, School Board Vice Chair. “We will follow the law and allow parents to opt their children out of instructional materials for any reason, to provide families an opportunity to review the content of instructional materials and pursue alternative instruction. I view this resolution as an opportunity for our school district to build bridges with families, particularly on deeply personal matters. Through stronger relationships and trust, we can pave the way for more extraordinary academic achievement and long-term success for all our students.” He continued, “I strongly believe that St. Louis Park Public Schools is a place where each student is seen and valued and becomes their best selves as racially conscious, globally minded contributors to society.”*

*Vice Chair Abdihakim Ibrahim no longer supports the resolution.