Fixing Stillwater Schools

Mike McCarthy

March 11, 2024


“If you want to see something, just ask,” they say. … Unless our school doesn’t want parents to see it, we learn. Secrecy thwarts opposition. You can’t opt out of what you don’t see.

Secrecy keeps voters happily willing to deliver their children and to send ever more money; money regularly diverted from failing academic basics to higher priority radical social engineering of our children’s beliefs and world view.

In the August of 2021, local mom Catherine Hobbs asked Stillwater Schools ISD 834 for 2020-2021 English Class instructional materials used by employee Clair Henning and contract teacher Joe Haker. She also asked for the school’s 2021-2022 Ethnic Studies instructional materials presented to students during the 2021-2022 school year.

In June 2023, Mrs. Hobbs was still waiting. For 22 months she had regularly followed up in writing to remind school officials that she was still waiting. So just before the deadline to do so, we filed an official Complaint before the MN Office of Administrative Hearing (OAH) to enforce delivery of the requested materials under the MN Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA).

Our school immediately hired a large law firm to wage expensive litigation against us rather than provide the requested classroom materials. This is not the action of a school happy to share what it is telling our children! According to their legal filings, the school did not even begin to look for the materials asked for until 2 years after being requested – and after our Complaint was filed.

After 26 months had lapsed, Stillwater schools partially replied with a some Ethnic Studies materials, withholding all else, all the while denying their law-breaking for doing so.

Three-school years after our kids had been given it in class, some of the English class materials were provided on the very day of closing arguments before the OAH.

The OAH Administrative Law Judge found that Stillwater School District (ISD 834) broke the law.

Unfortunately, legally required classroom materials from contract teacher Joe Haker were never provided. Causes of the systemic failure to comply with the MGDPA were never investigated in a hearing. Explanations of how this well-documented debacle occurred were not provided. Despite school district claims that whatever was wrong is ok now, we have only the school district’s tarnished reputation to rely on.

Much legally requested content, not legally protected or confidential, simply was not disclosed.



One does not hide what one is proud of.

Output from public inspection of the English 9 curriculum at Stillwater Area High School: