St. Cloud Somali Leader: “The Community Needs Long Term Change”
ST. CLOUD - Somali leaders and St. Cloud school officials are working together to try and make their schools more welcoming to all cultures.
Tensions are high after a group of about 100 Somali students protested outside of Tech High School on Wednesday. The protests had to do with a photo posted on the social media site “Snapchat” about an insensitive remark involving a Somali girl in a wheelchair, implying she was part of the Islamic State terrorist group.
A discussion was held between Somali and school leaders on Thursday. St. Cloud Somali leader and former St. Cloud City Council candidate Abdul Kulane was at the meeting and says more work should be done by the community.
"Emotion was very high-we wanted to have a constructive environment where dialog and reasoning could happen, unfortunately it didn't happen that way."
Kulane hopes the recent protest at Tech will lead to change not just at the school, but the community as a whole.
St. Cloud Area School District Superintendent Willie Jett released a statement on Thursday afternoon, saying the district is working hard to continue teaching students the complex issues of race and culture.
Kulane says long-term structural change is needed and that the district have more diversity in its staff. Many in the Somali community are frustrated with unequal punishment of students in school and a lack of open dialogue.
Kulane adds that bullys in the schools need more help than the victims and that the district should work to prevent bullying from happening in the first place.
Jett says they are take all reports of bullying very seriously in the district and that student safety will continue to be a primary concern at their schools.