Minnesota Teaching License Will Require Educators to ‘Affirm’ Students’ Gender Identity

The new requirements will be promptly taken to court.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Christians, Muslims, and Jews will be forced to hide their religious beliefs under Minnesota’s new teaching license requirements as determined by Minnesota’s Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB).
  • Teachers seeking licensures must undergo “cultural competency training” to uncover biases.
  • One of the “standards of effective teaching” includes “affirming the validity of students’ backgrounds and identities.”
  • Another standard requires educators to create an environment that “ensures” a student’s racial, sexual, and gender identities are “affirmed.”
  • A teacher must also “[create] opportunities for students to learn about power, privilege, intersectionality, and systemic oppression” across communities to “promote equity.”
  • Minnesota public educators are to acknowledge “historical foundations of education” in the state, such as policies that “have and continue to create inequitable opportunities, experiences, and outcomes for learners” from “underrepresented backgrounds.”
TEACHING STANDARDS VIOLATE THE FIRST AMENDMENT:
  • President of Minnesota’s Upper Midwest Law Center Doug Seaton said the new teaching regulations can be paraphrased as suggesting, “Christians, Muslims, and Jews need not apply for Minnesota teaching jobs.”
  • Minnesota teachers are “going to have to be faced with hiding their beliefs” or be denied a teaching license,” Seaton explained.
  • The new standards force “potential licensees to speak the PELSB’s chosen beliefs as an established creed and live them out in order to have a job,” Seaton added.
BACKGROUND:
  • According to Minnesota Democratic State Rep. Sydney Jordan, students are calling for educational programs on “diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.”
  • Minnesota’s education standards ranked among the lowest in the nation in 2021.
  • Social studies expert Wilfred McClay told the Center of the American Experiment that the low ranking coincides with standards “motivated by radical, even revolutionary, political ideology.”
  • Despite the loss of conservative values in Minnesota, the newly-Republican House passed the “Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,” a bill protecting the “life and health of the child.”