Somali leaders meet St. Cloud officials amid racial tensions at high school


A task force of Somalis community leaders in St. Cloud met with education officials in an attempt to defuse tensions amid claims of racial discrimination at Technical High School.

A group of more than 100 Somali students walked out of school on two occasions last week, saying it failed to deal with bullying at the hands of non-Somali students. Those incidents reached a head when a Snapchat message circulated showing a disabled Somali student as a member of the Islamic State terrorist group.

MPR reports a task force of around 15 Somali community elders and students met with Superintendent Willie Jett and school board chairman Dennis Whipple, and group member Hassan Yussuf described the meeting as "productive."

Jett told WJON the task force expressed concerns about the higher suspension rate in the district, bullying and harassment of Somali students, and a lack of diversity among teaching staff, adding that he would be meeting regularly with the task force in the future.

Students involved in the protests met with executive teachers at the school last week, and say they had secured promises that more would be done to increase understanding among staff about dealing with people of color.

Snapchat student wants to apologize

The St. Cloud Times reports the student behind the offensive Snapchat wants to apologize.

His parents spoke with the newspaper, saying they want their 17-year-old son – who is suspended – to have the opportunity to apologize, and say they fear he is going to be expelled for a "one-time mistake."

"They're trying to portray him as some sort of a racist, and that's not him," his father told the newspaper, adding that they were both "disgusted" by his post. "He made a mistake. He's trying to amend the mistake."

MPR notes that the St. Cloud Area School district has previously been under federal scrutiny after reports that white students and teachers were found to be making "offensive and derogatory" comments toward Somali students.

Next Up

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.


For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Screen Shot 2021-01-22 at 9.08.16 PM

Tributes pour in after MN Supreme Court justice's daughter found dead

Olivia Chutich died near the campus of Iowa State University.

Image from iOS (96)

Early Saturday fire damages Burger King in Richfield

The fire was reported around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Jamal Mashburn Jr. / Gopher Basketball

Maryland hands Gophers first home loss of season

The 17th-ranked Gophers fell to the Terrapins 63-49 on Saturday afternoon.

Alibi Drinkery in Lakeville.

Minnesota Department of Health files lawsuit against Alibi Drinkery

The Lakeville bar has been in the news for defying orders.