Just in case a Christian or two might care how this school district considers you and your belief, I’ve put together an account of what happened regarding the Brainerd School district 181’s decision to neutralize Christianity from the school.
I begins from all accounts as of now from Conrad Craig Evarts aka Craig Conrad Evarts aka Commander Evarts’ approached to the school board as reported in the Dispatch:
A Forestview parent told Brainerd School Board members Monday that he was upset that the district calendar calls for a day off on Good Friday, a Christian holiday.
Conrad Evarts said he and his family moved here a few years ago from the West Coast and his daughter attends Forestview Middle School. As a non-Christian, he said the district should not recognize Good Friday as a school holiday. He said he would like to see Good Friday, which is April 2, removed from the school vacation calendar.
"I was shocked to see the school calendar from circa 1945," Conrad Evarts told board members. "Imagine what it would be like if you were a Christian family and there was no lunch available at Forestview Middle School because the cafeteria was closed for a month because of Ramadan."
Evarts said he also was shocked that the school district does not give students and staff Martin Luther King Jr. Day off as a recognized school holiday.
"It's just pretty weird, coming from the West coast, to see that," said Evarts.
The board did not take any action on Evarts' request during the open forum section of the board meeting.
After this incident the school advisory committee, which is made up of mothers of students, by all but one member advised Mr. Razidlo not to make changes to the days in question, and referred to the paper’s account of the incident between Conrad Evarts and the school board. Some in attendance to this same meeting with Conrad Evarts reported to us that it was without question a bizarre thing to do. The reaction by them was of one impatience and disgust that a man from the west coast can think to change our culture to fit his own personal liking.
Yet this is not true that the board did not take any action on Evarts’ request, in fact apparently the board did take action by making the change requested by Conrad Evarts. Although not one person on the board when asked confirmed this change, Mr. Razidlo in an email to a community member whose emails as well as many others have been floating around, stated “the idea for more neutral language regarding what we have traditionally listed as Christmas and Good Friday was mine.” In fact Mr. Razidlo stated that he “proposed the change because of concern expressed by one community member and because the proposed language would more closely mirror other school calendars in our region and our state."
The one community member is again Conrad Evarts, whose history and character is no hidden matter. In fact after a simple search on this name, as well as his middle name, Craig, brought attention to his past, which he has recorded and confirmed in his book Spokane Hates Me: Communiqués from and Exiled Hillyardite, Volume 1. It begins with him being arrested in 1990 for arson because of his views on the environment made him and his brother (who was 15 at the time) eco-terrorists. His involvement with the Earth First organization whose logo mirrors the same logo for communism, adds more fuel to this fire as this organization has been the core for eco-terrorist groups. Also he promotes becoming a nomad living in an RV around the country, with advice of how to defraud insurance companies into getting money to do it with.
“Here’s how: Get cash, get a motorhome. Finance nothing. If you need five grand quickly, get renter’s insurance; by a DVD player, digital video camera, Bose Wave Radio, etcetera. Videotape it along with some of the junk in your home. Include your yard sale dishes, rusty bicycle and costume jewelry to retain credibility. Return said gear for a refund, then call the cops and report a burglary. If you’re not stupid, you’ll have a check in a month. Don’t sweat the story you’re going to tell the S.P.D they’re so busy hassling poor Hillyardians and keeping Frankie Doodle’s in the black you’ll never see ‘em. Just ask Robert Lee Yates Jr.”
The book continues tales of a nomad’s trip, whether drug induced or not, it’s still seems like quite a toxic trip. Living life on the road granted him some kind of release from the rules called law such as stealing water, stealing electricity, dumping, parking and many other dishonest activities associated with that lifestyle as he writes. Without a satirist label, I’m forced to take him at his own words.
But this isn’t about Commander Evarts, his radio personality name, it’s about Brainerd and protecting our way of life, passions, and rule of law from those who detest our way of life, but refuse to leave, or conform (somewhat.) It’s about a school board who is more comfortable taking the advice of a stranger then listening even to their own advisory committee, community members, and even members of their own board.
It appears Mr. Razidlo did the change on the calendar on his own, without a motion from the board or a second. He did not return my email, or others concerning this charge, so until further notice he has no comment. Did he feel as a non-elected administrator making over $128,000 a year in a district whose average income is less than half his own, that he can do these things? Apparently. But what cries foul is his call to neutralize Christianity, which should be appalling. Maybe something you’d hear about in Spokane, but in Central Minnesota we actually still love our God, and even though we are more or less wayward we are certainly not ready to neutralize Him, because my waywardness does not constitute proof of neutralizing God, but in fact should be proof of its opposite.
After a careful check around the county’s school districts, and those whose districts outside the county that serve our Crow Wing children, only three of the eight districts neutralize Christianity. They are Pequot Lakes, Pine River Backus, and Little Falls. Schools that hold true to our core are Aitkin and Pillager school districts. Those in between to include Nay ah shing school kept reference to Christianity. So to Mr. Razidlo and board member Ruth Nelson’s comment in moving the calendar to reflect other districts is not true. So why the lie? Is Christianity that dangerous?
Ruth Nelson’s email which we posted on the front page of this website I thought must give one pause as to the mindset of the board. She stated in her response to a concerned school father:
“I wish the many people who wrote about this issue, would also be as concerned about the poverty in our area, the high unemployment, things Jesus is really concerned about, yet I see few people speaking out on these issues.”
It seems very clear that she is unaware of the works of Christians in our area, such as Lakes Area Pregnancy Support Center which has been helping women and men experiencing unplanned pregnancies for 14 years. The Sharing Bread Soup Kitchen giving food to any who ask, or the Salvation Army providing care from flesh to soul. B.A.Y. (Brainerd Area Youth) and the many things Pastor Dale Kuglin does for the School district in crisis counseling. Bridges of Hope, which deals with the many problems in families. Crisis Line and Referral Service, they are “’someone’ you can turn to when ‘nobody’ understands or when ‘everyone’ is too busy to listen.”Habitat for Humanity, an organization that needs no introduction. Lakes Area Chaplaincy, providing care from police to criminals. Every Church in the area whose mission is to mentor families, provide spiritual care and be a liaisons to any situation. As for unemployment Jesus never said “Go, find a job.” No I believe he said, “Go, sell all you have and follow me.” And “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [He’s talking about food, shelter, job etc] will be added unto you.”
In conclusion, it is in the opinion of everyone of those organizations I mentioned that if the school district woke up from their moral slumber and stand up for what is right, honorable, just, and decent, many of those organizations would be out of business, and gladly so. Now it’s not the future that will tell us where district 181 will go, it’s you and me. Will we wake up to what is right, honorable, just and decent? Our future and existence demands it.
Christianty vs. School District 181
School Calendars in Crow Wing County and additional districts that service Crow Wing citiznes:
Only Pillager and Aitkin continue our American Heritage by not neutralizing Christianity on their calendar, while Pequot Lakes, Little Falls, and Pine River Backus do completely neutralize Christianity from their's. The facts are these:
Who Is Conrad Evarts, And Why Is He Saying Such Terrible Things About Us?
Minnesota Freedom Council, April 21, 2010 3:08am
Much has been said the last several weeks about the place of religion in our society. Mountains have been said to have been made of molehills, Tea Partiers have been labeled religious zealots, and everyone from School Boards to outraged citizens have issued proclamations on what is perceived to be the need for absolute separation of church and state. Matters are reaching the boiling point after the School Board voted recently to remove the words Easter and Good Friday from the school calendar. The Brainerd Daily Dispatch put out a hasty defense of the Board in a recent Opinion piece. In the editorial, sub-titled “It’s Just a School Calendar,” the Dispatch accused those upset about the action of “making mountains out of molehills.” As usual, our fearless press and their editorial leaders never looked under the molehill. There they would have discovered Conrad Evarts. Maybe even TWO Conrad Evarts.
You see, by endorsing the School Board decision the Dispatch is acquiescing in what School Superintendent, Steve Razidlo, said was a somewhat reacti<