The Edina school board has decided not to take action against its vice chairwoman, Sarah Patzloff, who came under fire recently over a social media post. The board said in a statement Wednesday that an independent investigation has concluded and the matter is closed.
The board held a closed meeting Tuesday to discuss the complaints against Patzloff regarding a Facebook post in which she criticized a blog by a 10th-grade English teacher in the Edina schools.
Patzloff on Feb. 6 shared the PDF of the English teacher Jackie Roehl's blog, Voices from the Inside, on a private Facebook page for Edina parents, calling its manifesto "frightening." The blog made a case for teaching students about racial and social justice issues.
"Overall, educators must understand that despite the fact that discussing issues of race, racism, and Whiteness is uncomfortable, they need to experience that discomfort to effect real change," the blog post said.
A Fox 9 News report said a crowd of parents gathered outside the meeting venue to support Patzloff, who has been on the board for six years. The parents alleged that she was being called out for speaking her mind because she had conservative views, Fox 9 News reported.
Patzloff could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
During the closed meeting, she delivered the following statement:
"I would like to express my regret for posting comments on Facebook that were upsetting to some members of our community. It wasn't my intent to offend anyone. I will continue to strongly advocate for our students and hope that we can put this matter behind us and focus our attention on the work of the District."
The statement also quoted Edina school board Chairman Leny Wallen-Friedman, who said:
"The Board was required by its policies and practices to fully investigate this matter, and that independent investigation has now concluded. No formal disciplinary action will be taken against Ms. Patzloff, and the Board considers this matter to be closed."
The board said it would have no further comment and that information about the allegations or the investigation that it said were "classified as private personnel data."
"The Board would like to thank those individuals who took part in the process and is looking forward to moving past this matter to continue its focus on the best interests of its students, parents, staff, and the Edina community," the statement said.
The school board dispute is the district's latest flare-up over politics and free speech. In March, members of Edina High School's Young Conservatives Club settled a lawsuit after claiming the district had wrongfully revoked its school-sponsored status. The district denied that claim.
Gulam Jeelani • 612-673-4280