Skip to main content

After the brawl: Somali students at South High don't feel safe

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Some Somali students say they don't feel safe at South High School in Minneapolis, where last week a brawl that involved hundreds of students erupted in a lunchroom. Three students and a school staff member went to the hospital with minor injuries.

"Nobody listens to us, nobody understands what we're talking about," tearful student Kowsar Mohamed, 16, said at a press conference Tuesday, MPR reported. "It's the fact that we go somewhere for education but we don't feel safe."

The media conference was organized Minneapolis school board member Hussein Samatar, who said district leaders are not doing enough to make Somali students feel welcome, although he downplayed what some suggest led to the fight – tension between Somali students and African-American and Native American students, MPR reported.

Students, parents and community leaders stressed that tensions had been building at the school for months, WCCO reported.

Some students and parents said they objected to the way Minneapolis police responded to the incident, with some suggesting police used too much force, the Star Tribune reported. Chief Janeé Harteau said she would investigate the concerns, the newspaper reported.

Of the 1,700 students at South High School, about 140 are of Somali heritage, and some say they don't feel like they are understood by their peers, and they seek ways to bridge a cultural divide, Fox 9 reports.

Minneapolis Public Schools CEO Rick Mills said district leaders are still planning next steps in response to the melee.

The school is holding small students meetings, increasing teacher training and plans parents meetings, WCCO reported.

Next Up

14 W Main St, Anoka, MN 55303, United States - September 2021

2 dead after driver flees cop in Coon Rapids, crashes in Anoka

The double-fatal crash happened on Main Street near Ferry Street in Anoka.

Adam Hunter Pattishall.

Fleeing suspect charged in crash that left husband dead, wife critical

Daniel Joseph Fisher, 57, died from multiple blunt force injuries in a crash Sunday. His wife, Cathleen, is in critical condition as of Tuesday.

storm, severe weather

Threat of severe weather returns to Minnesota for 2 days

Isolated severe storms Wednesday, followed by scattered severe storms Thursday.


1 dead, 2 injured in crash at intersection in Ramsey

The crash happened at the intersection of Bunker Lake Blvd. and Sunfish Lake Blvd.

Tettegouche State Park bridge

Trails reopen as waters subside, but bridges damaged at Tettegouche State Park

Water levels on the river have dropped about six to eight feet since Friday.

Keith Harvell

Body pulled from Mississippi River ID'd as missing Elk River man

Keith Harvell had been missing since early last month.

900 W Broadway Ave, Minneapolis, Minnesota - July 2021

2 victims identified in double-fatal north Minneapolis shooting

A 21-year-old man and a 51-year-old man were identified as the people who died at the scene this past weekend.

Proctor football

Former Proctor HS football player pleads guilty to sexual assault of teammate

The case will also remain in juvenile court, with conditions.

Doug Wardlow

Doug Wardlow reneges on promise, will challenge GOP's AG candidate in primary

Wardlow's announcement sparked swift criticism from the MN GOP and the party-endorsed candidate, Jim Schultz.

Flickr - welcome to minnesota sign - Tony Webster

US News '150 Best Places to Live' features 1 from MN, 3 from WI

The latest US News list is for the most populous metro areas only, so no small towns.


7 tornadoes touched down last week in western MN, ND

Two of the seven were EF-2 level tornadoes, according to the National Weather Service.