After the last few weeks of reading the responses of a few regarding Carl Fruechte, I felt compelled to share my experience and knowledge of Carl. 

In my day to day I am a behavioral health therapist that specializes in helping adolescents and young adults navigate the difficult developmental transition from adolescence in to the adult world.  

In the spring of 2017, I was going through patient rosters and noticed that I was seeing a number of young people from the Caledonia School District. A few of these young men and women were athletes, but certainly not all. 

As a fan of high school athletics, I have followed all things Caledonia for many years. Knowing from the news and from other programs what kind of a man Carl is, I took a chance and cold called him to share my observations with him; that there were kids in the school that were struggling with their mental health. 

When I suggested to Mr. Fruechte that there may be a flaw in the armor of Caledonia, all I heard was silence. As I panicked, thinking I had just offended one of the most successful coaches in the history of Minnesota High School Sports, Carl shuffled some papers in the background and quickly said, “Mr. Knutson, when can you be here? We need to meet.” 

Within 24 hours, Carl had assembled a team of coaches, administrators, and counselors and we met at the high school to discuss the mental health of the student body in general. All students. 

This led to having more robust discussions with students and athletes about tough subjects like drugs, alcohol, mental health, bullying, transitioning into adult years, relationships….things other schools very rarely talk about (I know as I have been a mental health liaison for many districts). 

Carl has brought attention to the dangers of screen time to the community, stresses the importance of focusing on mental health as a component of a student’s total health, and above all else, promotes individuality, love, and acceptance for ALL students. 

I fell in love with the culture at Caledonia and uprooted my family from Western Wisconsin to move to Caledonia this past June.  

I am one of at least four families that have moved here in the past few years to have our kids be blessed with the opportunity to be guided by humans like Carl.  

From 2017 to now, I can say whole heartedly and with full confidence that I have never met a man that has sacrificed so much in his life to help others. 

This is a man who serves the Caledonia School District and community 24/7, 365 days per year. He does more for the kids in this community before noon every day than 99% of the population does in a calendar year.  He’s not worried about a paycheck. He’s not worried about attention or praise. 

He just wants EVERY student to be the very best versions of themselves they can be. This is a man with more love in his heart than many of you could ever understand, simply because you are unwilling to understand or learn outside of your box. If you think he’s just a football coach, you are wrong. Plain and simple. 

When I read the hateful, misguided assumptions and childish name calling aimed at Carl, I had to write. I am old enough to remember when a person could ask a question. 

The emotional responses, assumptions, and attempts to attack the character of a person that simply posed a few questions proved to the masses that there should be an all-inclusive Diversity Club in the community, even for some adults.  Carl never stated a personal opinion, made a statement of his faith, or passed judgement on anyone.  He praised the students involved for wanting to start the group. 

Instead of trying to divide a community with your rhetoric and libelous assumptions, maybe you should consider the intensity of your emotional responses and meet the man that has held this school district and community on his back for decades. Your judgements are not justified or based in fact. 

You have every right to express your feelings, but when you overlook facts when writing about your feelings in an attempt to assassinate the character of a man for asking tough questions, you’re wrong.

 Carl’s actions speak for themselves. He’s one of the most diverse minded, loving men you will ever meet and has sacrificed his life for this community. 

Brett Knutson

Caledonia, Minn.

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