Kendall Qualls, the president of TakeCharge, joined Liz Collin Reports this week. (Alpha News)

Members of a Minnesota school board have taken a bold stand in their opposition to left-wing priorities in the state’s largest school district.

Kendall Qualls, the president of TakeCharge, joined Liz Collin Reports to discuss why he supported Anoka-Hennepin school board members Matt Audette, Zach Arco and Linda Hoekman in their vocal opposition to programs related to systemic racism, critical race theory, and gender identity. The three conservative members of the board said they would vote against any budget that promotes these topics in student instruction or staff development.

Qualls spoke at a recent school board meeting as many voiced their opposition to the programs while others expressed their support. He specifically addressed the new ethnic studies requirements for K-12 classrooms and Minnesota’s declining test scores.

“Most Minnesotans and those parents in the Anoka Hennepin district think ethnic studies, on the surface, sounds good. It sounds like those are the things we want, inclusivity, dignity for all students, but that’s not what this is teaching. Ethnic studies is all about social justice warrior-type initiatives. They divide students by race, by gender, and you have to form your identity based on your affinity group. We’re much more than that. We’re more than just one dimension. It’s a very divisive way of moving forward as a nation, as a country, and starting with this generation. It’s the wrong direction,” Qualls said.

“Nearly 60% of children, black children especially, in the 10th grade cannot read at grade level. Nearly 70% of them … are not competent in math,” he added.

Following a marathon work session after the school board meeting, MPR reports that the school board agreed to “decouple” the budget from policy and curriculum decisions in order to avoid a budget standoff this summer.

Qualls believes it’s a start for school board members to take such a step but said he doesn’t see the need for this type of controversial curriculum and believes students are being “used and manipulated.”

“Of course we want to have an inclusive environment. Of course we want to have inclusive schools where everyone feels accepted and respected with dignity. We want that. These initiatives do not do that. They make people feel that they need to choose what side they want to be on. It is very divisive, it’s not inclusive,” Qualls said.

Mission expanding to new states 

TakeCharge has now expanded with a new office in Tennessee.

“We share the Mississippi River together. Unfortunately, we share a lot of the same problems. Recently, a police officer was shot in the line of duty … defending his community from a person that was released on no bond for a felony charge. This young man had just turned 18 years old. It’s the same problems that we’re suffering here in Minneapolis with the wrong notion of who our police officers are and the noble efforts that they put forth in our communities,” Qualls said.

The offices of TakeCharge, the Center of the American Experiment and the Upper Midwest Law Center by arson earlier this year. (Courtesy photo)

“There’s a large percentage of the black community that has no voice, that has no champion because they don’t agree with a lot of these initiatives that are being pushed in the public arena. They don’t agree with the DEI initiatives. They don’t agree with the defund the police. They want to restore two-parent families instead of incentivizing single parents,” he added.

Latest on arson at TakeCharge office 

It’s been nearly three months since an arsonist set fire and destroyed the offices of TakeCharge, the Center of the American Experiment and the Upper Midwest Law Center.

There’s a $100,000 reward for information.

“I do believe that they’ll eventually find the perpetrators … this seems to be the MO for the progressive left. They may find the person, but it won’t stop them from the behavior. There doesn’t seem to be an adult in the room that says, ‘we don’t stand for this.’ This is not who we are as a country. This is not how we convey our opposition to people that differ from us,” Qualls said.


Liz Collin

Liz Collin has been a truth-teller for 20 years as a multi-Emmy-Award-winning reporter and anchor. Liz is a Worthington, Minnesota native who lives in the suburbs with her husband, son and loyal lab.

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