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Somali students walk out of St. Cloud Tech, protest over repeated bullying


A group of around 100 students protested outside St. Cloud Technical High School Wednesday over a string of alleged bullying incidents targeting Somalis.

The St. Cloud Times reports that the school was placed in "containment" after students walked out shortly before noon to protest the perceived failures of administrators to address conflicts between Somali and non-Somali students.

According to the Star Tribune, who spoke to someone close to the protests, the demonstration was triggered by a posting on social media app Snapchat which mocked a disabled Somali Tech student as being in extremist group ISIS.

Junior Marlene McMullen, a friend of the protest's organizer, claimed that other students at the school bully Somalis every day, adding that "they decided they're not going to take it anymore ... everybody just disrespects them and they stood up for themselves."

During the protest, said to have also involved non-Somali students and some adults, the St. Cloud Times notes that five students went into the building to meet with school administrators, who reportedly agreed to train staff to be "more understanding to people of color," and hire more teachers of color.

WJON reports that the protests stopped at around 2:15 p.m., with other students kept in classrooms while it was going on.

Somali students had been targeted in "several offensive incidents," according to the radio station, and District 742 communications director Tami DeLand said that two students had been talked to about the incidents.

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