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Satanic Temple loses court battle to place monument in Belle Plaine

Plus: Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan on new social studies standards; 11 school staff members have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic; U of M says large number of students are vaccinated; and more.

Not giving the devil his due. The Star Tribune’s Erin Adler reports:A Satanic Temple has lost its court battle with the city of Belle Plaine, four years after the religious group attempted to put a monument in the local Veterans Memorial Park. … The temple asserted in two separate lawsuits that the southwest metro city had violated its rights to free speech and free expression of religion, among other things. But a federal judge dismissed most of those allegations in 2020 and decided in September that the city didn’t breach a contract when it revoked the temple’s permit to install the monument. … Belle Plaine is pleased with the court’s decision, said Dawn Meyer, the city administrator”

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan on the new social studies standards. For Sahan Journal Becky Z. Dernbach reports: “Peggy Flanagan never learned her own history and culture when she was growing up in St. Louis Park in the 1980s and 1990s. … ‘When you don’t see yourself reflected in your teachers or curriculum, there is an impact,’ she told Sahan Journal. ‘To be really candid, it made me feel like I was invisible in my own classroom.’ … But soon, the old Eurocentric approach, with its absence of Indigenous voices, will be history. Under new proposed Minnesota social studies standards, kindergarteners will learn about Indigenous communities’ relationships to land and water; sixth-graders will study how the Anishinaabe and Dakota practice tribal rights today; and high school students will learn Indigenous perspectives on settlers’ westward expansion alongside the theory of ‘manifest destiny.’ In addition to learning Indigenous perspectives on history, students will study contemporary Indigenous communities. ”

This is really sad news. WCCO reports: “Since the beginning of the pandemic, 11 school staff members have died due to COVID-19, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. … MDH reported the 11th death on Thursday. It is the third COVID-19-related death of a school employee for the current school year. Two other deaths were reported in late September. … ‘There are too many sick people in our buildings that aren’t following best practices to control the virus and, to be blunt, too many people dying,’ said Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota. ‘The experts have told us how to operate schools safely during the pandemic – but we need every school to actually follow the rules.’”

Also in COVID-19 news. KMSP’s Maury Glover reports: “When students returned to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus last month, it was with the understanding they had to be vaccinated by October 8. Now that the deadline is here, university officials say most students have complied with the vaccine mandate. … “I filled mine out yesterday. They sent me a reminder email,” said sophomore Max Moffor. “I’ve been vaccinated since April got my first dose. May, my second dose.” … Students have until Friday to submit a COVID-19 immunization vaccination form certifying they have been vaccinated, or ask for a religious or medical exemption. University officials say as of two weeks ago, 75% of all students had filled out the form, and as of Monday, roughly 97% of those students had been vaccinated.”

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