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Statement on March 14 incident near Southwest High School

 

 
March 15, 2018
 
Statement on March 14 incident near Southwest High School
 
State law limits the information that can be shared regarding Minnesota students, so Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is prohibited from sharing details of the brief fight that occurred on March 14 across the street and off school property. MPS does not condone fighting or disrespectful behavior. When it happens, we follow the same behavior and safety guidelines for all students involved. 
 
In the weeks leading up to the March 14 walkouts, the District’s focus was on creating safe spaces for all voices to be heard and establishing learning opportunities for students. In fact, last week MPS Superintendent Ed Graff proactively sent a message to all principals and families that said, in part, “As educators, part of our role is to help our students learn how to actively engage in civic conversations and the importance of being engaged in our democratic process…We believe there are opportunities to incorporate the current national discussion into instruction. Not only is this good educational practice, but also it creates a space for students to process events such as this and make meaning within tragedy.”
 
MPS continues to believe the events of March 14 provided a focused opportunity for student voice on an important civic issue that is bipartisan in nature. One of MPS’s priorities is giving students skills for critical thinking, building positive relationships, hearing diverse views and problem-solving in challenging situations. The District’s hope and expectation would be students approach one another in a respectful manner, even when they disagree. At the same time, we realize some students, much like our society in general right now, sometimes have difficulty constructively engaging in civic discourse. As a learning organization, MPS’s obligation is to create spaces for students to learn this skill. 
 
MPS students come from diverse backgrounds and bring diverse perspectives, and we support their right to express those perspectives—even when we know not all will agree. MPS’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths and helps students grow into well-rounded, global citizens. It is important to maintain a safe, positive learning environment for each Minneapolis Public Schools student in every one the District’s schools, and we are committed to doing that.
 
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