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Hundreds of students at Highland Park Senior High School walked out on Monday over what they described as a "sexual assault culture," which includes alleged inappropriate conduct towards students by one teacher in particular.

The walkout was carried out at 9:18 a.m., with organizers demanding that the school "takes action towards staff that have made young women feel unsafe and sexualized," as well as efforts to increase transparency "about the accountability process of students, staff, and especially administration associated with sexual assault reports."

It comes as complaints of inappropriate conduct have been made against one long-serving employee at the school, with these complaints now the subject of an active investigation from St. Paul Police Department.

A series of stories by students relating to the teacher have been shared on the Instagram page @HPSHVoices this month. Among the complaints was one student saying the teacher would "almost everyday ... stand beside me at my desk and touch me on my shoulders or my arms."

Another said she caught the teacher "looking down my shirt" during a test, and asked her afterwards: "Do I make you uncomfortable?" Another former student said the teacher found a picture of her in a bikini and projected it on a whiteboard for the whole class to see, and also would talk in front of students about having sex with his wife.

St. Paul Police Department told Bring Me The News that it has an active investigation into the teacher ongoing and the case is being submitted to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for consideration of possible charges.

A spokesperson said it has also been turned over to the Minnesota Department of Education.

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In a statement, St. Paul Public Schools said it "takes any and all reports of sexual assault, sexual violence and other harassment and offensive behaviors very seriously," noting that any such allegations are "fully investigated."

"Any student, school district personnel, or third party who believes they have experienced prohibited conduct or any student, school district personnel, or third party with knowledge or belief that such conduct has occurred must report the alleged conduct immediately, or as soon as possible, to the responsible administrator," a spokesperson said.

However, it added that the district's ability to investigate or take action "based on an anonymous complaint" can be "severely limited."

The district says students who took part in the walkout won't be disciplined as they were taking part in a "peaceful exercise of free speech," but they will be marked absent or tardy if they missed all or part of a class.

Bring Me The News does not typically name those subject of criminal investigations until they have been charged with a crime.

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