An Introduction

The Transparency Series

PEOPLE – LANGUAGE – VISION of 833 South Washington County Schools What does it mean to be transparent? I use the illustration of A GARDEN GREENHOUSE. For the purposes of this series, the greenhouse represents a school district’s function in its community, the policy and procedure it establishes to achieve that function, and its ability to communicate that process transparently out to the community.

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Equity is justice ONLY in the hands of the JUST.

Who is the just among us?

Humankind will inherently use equity to its own advantage and to its own gain.

Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary

The Dictionary Definition

EQUITY : 1. Justice ; right. In practice, equity is the impartial distribution of justice, or the doing that to another which the laws of God and man, and of reason, give him a right to claim. It is the treating of a person according to justice and reason. 2. Justice ; impartiality ; a just regard to right or claim ; as, we must, in equity, allow this claim. 3. In law, an equitable claim. 4. In jurisprudence, the correction or qualification of law, when too severe or defective ; … Equity then is the law of reason, exercised by the chancellor or judge, giving remedy in cases to which the courts of law are not competent. 5. Equity of redemption, in law, the advantage, allowed to a mortgager, of a reasonable time to redeem lands mortgaged, when the estate is of greater value than the sum for which it was mortgaged.

So Equity is the Law of REASON … This part seems to have been lost in modern dictionary translations.

The modern Dictionary Definition

EQUITY : Justice according to natural law or right. specifically: freedom from bias or favoritism: something that is equitable.

In the modern translation, justice is a RIGHT. Notice the shift in expectation.

The last article looked at the original definition of SOCIAL in that we are “disposed to mix in friendly converse.” By that definition, today’s “social” is actually anti-social. There is no such thing as anti-social justice If equity is the law of reason. There is simply JUSTICE.

What EQUITY IS NOT: Equity is NOT harmful or one-sided. It is NOT unfairness or wrongfulness. It is NOT offensive or criminal. EQUITY IS JUSTICE, and it can only be useful in the hands of the just. This is why “Equity usually appears in courts of law as a term related to justice or proportional fairness, or in financial offices to property or one’s share of a company.” says the Merriam-Webster online dictionary (View HERE)

Biblical EQUITY

I just so happened to be reading the book of Ezekiel in the same month as writing about politics, culture and equity. The 17th chapter changed my view of equity, and I began to realize equity’s role in Gods natural plan. Just like Socialism though, equity can fall prey to sinful people. In this verse, the prophet Ezekiel speaks the words of a just God who knows all and who judges fairly.

Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and will set it out. I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it on a high and lofty mountain. On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; In the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I am the Lord; I bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it.

Ezekiel 17: 22-24

This is God’s perfect justice. The Bible does not command sinful people to judge sinful people with equity. The Bible does not instruct us to become our own gods. What the Bible says is that God will judge mankind when Jesus comes again. It also says God chose Judges to rule over the people, not Kings. The book of Kings follows the book of Judges when, in 1000 BC, the Israelites chose Saul to be King over Israel. They chose to be like the surrounding nations rather than to follow the will of God (1 Samuel).

I can trust JUSTICE to my Lord.

I cannot trust JUSTICE to an unjust media.

Imagine if EQUITY were applied to a plant

in the same way as a media driven culture applies EQUITY to people.


Applying EQUITY to a plant begins with topically applied synthetic fertilizers meant to promote leaf health only. High nitrogen fertilizers quickly produce large leaves that lack the support of a strong stem. This happens when the soil (family) is neglected. Plants become leggy, frail and weak. A quick burst of stem and leaf growth result in a floppy top that cannot hold the weight of its produce. It cannot be fruitful and multiply under these conditions.

Moisture, drainage, lighting and nutrition all contribute to the culture care of a plant. The soil around the root is an integral part of the integrated whole.

Plant EQUITY feeds the leaf from the top DOWN.

Media EQUITY sees only the leaf because it is hyper-focused on superficial outward appearances. Big media cannot make money off the nutrient rich soil of a healthy family which is why they don’t operate in the light. Media EQUITY operates best in darkness because when conditions are dark plants stretch out toward any light it can find, even if that light is not healthy, natural, or sustaining.


Applying EQUALITY to a plant begins with nutrient rich soil (family) which feeds the root (soul) which in turn feeds the plant (person). In a secular culture that forces a secular pubic schooling on the community though, a seedling’s root should be off limits to the public school. Only the family (soil) should have access to the soul (root). Since the public school system isn’t allowed inside the soil, school EQUALITY begins with the stem. The public school should support families to amend their own soil.

Amending the soil (family) is a much slower process than applying topical fertilizers, but its effect is an enduring and everlasting one.

Plant EQUALITY feeds the whole plant from the ground UP.

Big Media cannot survive on non-media users. Healthy, thriving, well-adjusted people understand the ulterior motives of Media EQUITY. They know that media EQUITY means DEATH of the family, life for Big Media. Family EQUALITY means moisture, drainage, lighting, nutrition. In other words …


Equity is the grounds by which ISD833 uses to justify DEI policy, training and employment. The problem is, just like plant equity, the school district is hyper-focused on outward appearances (leaf), and they are failing to acknowledge the vital importance of the family (soil).

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Politics & Culture

What I am attempting to do on this platform is to speak INTO public culture. I am questioning culture and challenging cultural norms. After interviewing dozens of schools across the metro area, it is quite clear that every school creates its own CULTURE. They carve out their own cultural space WITHIN the larger picture. If the MN public school is a government institution whose POLITICALLY elected officials represent us at the country, state, senate, house, city and school board level, then are they not LEADERS of cultural influence?

ISD 833 Middle School Principal

“How do our schools, the place where students gather every day in person, parse out the political environment that surrounds us? How do we take the current events of the world and use them as an opportunity for conversations and being uncomfortable? We talk openly about mental health, about personal family issues like divorce, but school districts are being asked to be quiet and act like there is a difference in what  “school” learning should be. School has always been about learning of current events and that is part of the history that is taught.” (email from May of 2021)

ISD 833 Superintendent Nielsen

“Our schools are a reflection of our communities, our state and our world. Every day we are met with those challenges.” (email from May 13th, 2021)

District 833 staff has told me repeatedly that the children who enter their building every day live IN this CULTURE and therefore their schools must follow cultural norms.

But is that true? Do you think the schools are a reflection of our communities, our state and our world?

I would argue No. Our WORLD is a reflection of our SCHOOLS. The public school should not be using “culture” to justify its politics.

This feels like a game of the chicken and the egg to me. What came first, politics or culture? Culture does not have a mind of its own. Culture is what people make it to be. It does not and should not control people or shape politics.

But I will refer to the words of Dr. Frank Wright on this subject.

In the foreword to Running into the Fire by Terri Hasdorff. Dr. Frank Write makes the argument that “Politics is NOT downstream from culture; it is, rather, woven through the entire fabric of culture.”

” … we must look to the triumvirate of core American principles embodied in the Declaration of Independence – that all people are created equal, that their rights come from God not government, and that the only just governments are those derived from the consent of the governed. It’s this last core principle – that a just government is derived from the consent of the governed – that falsifies the entire notion of politics being downstream from culture. Politics, rightly understood, is at the core of shaping culture, largely through lawmaking – lawmaking with the consent and active engagement of ‘we the people.’ ”

Wright goes on to state that, “Politics is not the definitive answer to cultural decay. The root of this decay is primarily spiritual. Yet it is not wrong to say that politics is part of the answer – and in our day an important part.”

I REQUEST at this time for the District to please consider your responsibility in shaping culture for the better. You speak of cultural influences that enter your school buildings as if politics must FOLLOW culture. I respectfully disagree because this opinion uses culture as an excuse to justify ineffective government school policy. Culture is not a living breathing being. YOU ARE though. The government school district is at the forefront of political change, and it is people who weave politics INTO and THROUGH culture. I believe that you, a political institution, are affecting culture more than it is affecting you.

I WANT to believe that district leaders have the best interest of the kids in mind.

This is why I met with the Superintendent in December. We talked about “trust”. I really do WANT to believe her bright happy smile and calming smooth voice when she tells me she “cares.” I WANT to believe the Author from California, Zaretta Hammond is uplifting teachers and the field of education. I WANT to believe the United Teachers of South Washington County is encouraging and nurturing a respectful profession of teaching.

I pour over the mission and work of the organizations the Superintendent has aligned our district with, and then I look at the declining proficiency, the lack of rigor in the curriculum, the obsession over SOCIAL etiquette, the lack of substance in assigned literature. She tells me she “cares,” and she speaks with such eloquence as she says it, so why then does it feel like such a HUGE slap in the face?

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.

Proverbs 27:6 (NIV)


Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary

The Dictionary Definition

POLITICS : The science of government ; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government of a nation or state, for the preservation of its safety, peace and prosperity ; comprehending the defense of its existence and rights against foreign control or conquest, the augmentation of its strength and resources, and the protection of its citizens in their rights, with the preservation and improvement of their morals.


Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary

The Dictionary Definition

CULTURE : 1. The act of tilling and preparing the earth for crops ; cultivation ; the application of labor or other means of improvement. 2. The application of labor or other means to improve good qualities in, or growth; as the culture of the mind ; the culture of virtue.

One hundred years later, the definition of culture has grown quite a bit.

The Modern Definition (Merriam-Webster)

CULTURE : 1a. the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group. 1b. the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization. 1c. the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic. 1d. the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations. 2a. enlightenment and excellence of taste acquired by intellectual and aesthetic training. 2b. acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills. 3. the act or process of cultivating living material (such as bacteria or viruses) in prepared nutrient media. 4. cultivation, tillage.5. the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education. 6. expert care and training.

And that is politics and culture … for now. This would be such a good topic to debate. Please let me know if you have another opinion or a perspective I have not considered. We are all in a continuous state of learning, right? I would be curious to hear from a non-Christian perspective too.

by JAiME for SCHOOLS January 25th, 2023 (Updated Feb. 24th, 2023)


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