In the fall of 2019, Steve McConkey was notified by a number of parents that the school had a transgender cheerleader. The students were told that they could not refer to the person as a boy or they would be disciplined.
McConkey, who operates a worldwide sports ministry called 4Winds, distributed a news release about the situation locally, unlike most of the news releases that go worldwide. The transgender cheerleader eventually graduated.
Last winter, a parent said there were rainbow colored bricks surrounding the elementary music room. At the March school board meeting, McConkey brought up the transgender cheerleader and the painted bricks. After the board meeting, no one notified McConkey about the reason for the bricks.
In the spring, the district said the rainbow colored bricks were related to a music program that the teacher was using. A person saw a picture of the room on the school's Facebook page. The person zoomed various parts of the room and discovered a decal above the light switch.
A student took a picture of the decal and sent it to McConkey. The sticker was found to be connected to Gender Inclusive Schools. At their website, this organization instructs teachers and parents with transgender kids, but does not warn them about the dangers of drug therapies and surgeries on their website.
McConkey put out the result of his investigation that included more info on the elementary music teacher. He found the teacher dyed her hair rainbow colors, wore a Mickey Mouse pride lanyard around her neck, and had conversations with students about LGBTQ themes. The district removed the decal above the light switch.
At the June school board meeting, a large crowd gathered. Before entering the meeting, McConkey talked to the sheriff department and local police officers in the parking lot. A Webster police officer was inside at the board meeting.
A local citizen called the sheriff department a day before and tipped them off about a possible threat. McConkey had spent days blocking messages from activists. Some of the messages were threatening and many were attacking his Christian beliefs.
Eleven people spoke at the June board meeting. Nine spoke in favor of the LGBTQ agenda. McConkey and Peggy Helland spoke against it. Peggy Helland went over the history of the LGBTQ movement in schools and spoke as a grandparent. The community usually votes 63% conservative and does not favor this agenda.
One of the speakers was Max Anderson, a teacher and track coach. He presented the board with a letter signed by forty-two teachers. The letter said McConkey and other community members produced messages that were "cruel, filled with hate, filled with half truths and lies, and paint our staff and district in an unnecessary negative light." Their letter did not correct the LGBTQ agenda or the actions of the teacher. McConkey's investigation presented facts, not personal attacks.
At the board meeting, there were eight others besides Max Anderson not in favor of McConkey. The speakers were Pam Duncan (Webster retired special ed teacher), Kelly Johnson (CSS Service Facilitator at Burnett County), Samantha Hughes (Family Nurse Practitioner, Mental Health worker), Angel Morgan (CSS Service Facilitator at Burnett County).
Other speakers included Libby Trott who read a letter from her recently deceased aunt who retired from the school, a gay student who just graduated, Steve Pearson (retired teacher), and Maggie Olson who said she was an ex-Catholic and people should remove students from school if they don't like the school's LGBTQ agenda.
At the board meeting, the recent graduate said the elementary school teacher was the first teacher that he talked to about being gay. None of the nine pro-LGBTQ speakers corrected the teacher or opposed the LGBTQ agenda.
Steve McConkey spoke for three minutes. During that time, he talked about God's love and truth. He is morally opposed to the LGBTQ movement and stressed teachers should not be teaching this. Also, he does not think teachers should be promoting politicians or agendas. McConkey believes students can promote causes as long as they do not create disruptions.
Days later, Superintendent Jeff Fimreite, three principals and all board members produced a cover letter endorsing the letter signed by the forty-two teachers. Lawyer Wendy Eckman requested the letter signed by the teachers from the school and it took the district some time to get the letter to her after the school's lawyer got involved. They sent the cover letter with the letter she requested.
Signers of the cover letter supporting the forty-two teachers included Superintendent Jeff Fimreite, high school principal Josh Hetfield, middle school principal Ron Stelson, and elementary principal Ashley Nagel. The board members who supported the cover letter were Kim Johnson, Terry Larsen, Mark Elliott, Chaz Heinz, Galina Werdier, Katie Smith, and Melanie Johnson. The cover letter did not correct the teacher or the LGBTQ agenda.