Edina parents need to stop spreading misinformation and toxicity online


Anabelle Jakala

Normally cordial—if not somewhat braggadocious—parents become absolute menaces behind the keyboard where there are seemingly no consequences for their actions.

Hannah Owens Pierre, section editor

It’s a moment many of us are familiar with: A parent complains about their child being too obsessed with social media while they themselves spend an average of 11 hours per day scrolling through Facebook. Or worse: A parent teaches their child about the dangers of bullying after having just slewed thirty vitriolic comments at Karen from across the street. 

Unfortunately, Edina parents are some of the worst offenders in this regard. Normally cordial—if not somewhat braggadocious—parents become absolute menaces behind the keyboard where there are seemingly no consequences for their actions. 

Facebook has come under intense scrutiny for radicalizing populations, and Edina is no exception. Over time, users become caught in an echo chamber that leads to the inability to engage with people who test their beliefs. It is why Edina parents on internet forums organize high school-esque cliques, reaffirming the opinions of those who ideologically align with them and shunning those who don’t.

It is also why, if you spend a day on any Edina associated social media site, you will come out having scrolled past dozens of false and unsupported statements. From people claiming that the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous for children to those who suggest that masks weaken your immune system, misinformation is a serious problem that can lead to deadly consequences. 

Even when it doesn’t, though, it still plays a dangerous role in furthering prejudice. Edina Parents for Progress is a perfect example of this. While the group claims that Critical Race Theory is “being taught in Edina Public Schools” on their website, they provide no evidence of this being the case. Instead, they cite a list of phrases that can be used to “identify Critical Race Theory in the classroom.” Among these terms include ‘equality,’ ‘diversity,’ inclusion,’ and ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Going by these examples, it seems as though Critical Race Theory is merely acknowledging real issues facing our country and inspiring fairness in the classroom, which causes one to question why the group is opposed to it in the first place. A teacher’s job is not simply to help students pass tests but to instill the new generation with the knowledge it needs to create a better future. Banning discussions of equality and inclusion only perpetuates inequality and exclusion. 

Outside of the realm of Critical Race Theory, Edina parents are constantly finding ways to degrade diligent teachers and staff. They feel entitled not only to their student’s teacher’s time but also to tell them how to do their jobs. The problem is magnified on the internet, when a child receiving a bad grade in a class turns into direct personal attacks and rumors directed at teachers. 

The behavior of Edina parents is toxic for all parties involved. It is bad for teachers, who are constantly micro-managed and degraded by people who don’t spend any time in their classroom. It is bad for students who grow up in a state of constant fear and begin to mirror the poor behavior of their parents, spreading propaganda and sensational rumors. And it is bad for the parents themselves, who become increasingly hateful and addicted to negativity.

Edina parents need to grow up and stop acting like children on the internet, for their children’s sake.