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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The new Interim Superintendent of the Rochester Public Schools had an eventful inaugural meeting of the Rochester School Board.

Dozens of citizens packed into the board meeting room at the Edison Building to raise objections to the teaching of Critical Race Theory and requiring students to wear masks in class as part of the response to the COVID pandemic. The half-hour public comment period also included an apparently impromptu recitation of the Lord’s Prayer by many of those in the audience.

The oftentimes heated presentations to the elected officials preceded the official meeting of the School Board, which did not include any items related to either controversial issue. The debate of the inclusion of Critical Race Theory in the curriculum of public school systems throughout the United States has become the subject of contentious school board meetings in many communities. Interim Superintendent Kent Pekel has said the theory is not part of the Rochester School District curriculum and there have not been any proposals to incorporate it in the education plans for the Rochester Public Schools.

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