Sore losers trying to change the narrative in Hastings

When the dust settled in the Hastings school board election last month, the school board chair and one of her colleagues were soundly defeated by three political newcomers. The challengers used a novel approach to campaigning, going door to door reading from two books found in the libraries and classrooms of Hastings schools. One book, Something Happened in Our Town, pushes the message to young readers that “Cops stick up for each other, and they don’t like Black men.” Another book, An ABC of Equality, is a board book written for very young children exposing them to some very adult-like concepts:

F is for Feminism – girl power!

G is for Gender. Gender is a category that describes the inside feeling of being a boy, a girl or both, neither and everything in between.

L is for LGBTQIA – find the words that make you, you!

O is for Oppression

P is for Privilege

R is for Race

S is for Sex

T is for Transgender. You know best who you are! Sometimes the sex given by the doctor at birth might not fit with who the person is.

X is for Xenophobia

Z is for Ze

Ironically, N is for No.

Judging by the election returns, parents in Hastings clearly said “no” to these CRT-influenced books and teaching. The ABC book was pulled from Hastings schools before election day; the anti-police book remains in the curriculum.

Challengers Carrie Banaszewski Tate, Mike Reis and Jessica Dressely won the top three spots in the election, and it wasn’t close. Incumbents Kelsey Waits and Scott Gergen fell 400 votes short of reelection. We featured the Hastings candidates and how they used opposition to Critical Race Theory to defeat incumbents in our post-election analysis.

A month after the election, with the help of CNN, Board Chair Waits is attempting to change the narrative of her humiliating loss by blaming it on a post about one of her children in a Facebook group with 500 followers. According to Waits, the post “outed” her eight-year-old child as transgender, and that’s the reason she lost the election.

Waits told CNN after the election “her most precious secret was revealed and used against her” in her reelection bid. But she admitted to the Pioneer Press a few days later she had previously posted about the transition on Facebook “so friends and family could understand.” So it was not exactly a secret, especially for someone serving in elective office.

Secret or no secret, her transgender child had little to do with her loss. The three candidates running against her never used it in their campaigns, focusing instead on CRT. The fact that they put up over 1400 lawn signs across the district with the message “Kids Over Politics” also had something to do with their victory.  

Those trying to rewrite history in Hastings also have to deal with another inconvenient question — how did incumbent Scott Gergen lose his seat? Was he also the victim of hate speech from a poster on a Facebook page with 500 followers? Does he have a transgender child?

A few hundred people gathered in Hastings this weekend to show support for Kelsey Waits, her child, and transgenderism. The media showed up in force, awkwardly using the eight-year-old’s preferred pronouns (they/them) and condemning all the hate in eastern Dakota County.

None of it was necessary. The people of Hastings are not hateful or unaccepting. They just want more control of what’s being shoved down their children’s throats in local public schools. They will get their wish when the new school board is seated in January.