Owatonna Settles Probe Into Somali Harassment

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The U.S. departments of Education and Justice have reached a settlement with the Owatonna school district over alleged harassment of Somali students under which the district will give annual reports to the federal government for three years.

The deal announced Tuesday says the district will work to ensure students are protected. Among other things, it will issue an anti-harassment statement to students, parents and staff, and it will train staff about discrimination.

Owatonna schools Superintendent Tom Tapper said the district had already begun taking some steps in the agreement. “We began addressing these issues last fall and we continue in our commitment to maintain a positive learning environmental for all students,” he said.

The settlement stems from a complaint filed in 2010 by the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations alleging Somali students were harassed at the high school, culminating with a November 2009 incident in which 11 white and Somali students fought.

The investigation found Somali students received disproportionate discipline and the district’s policies were not adequately addressing harassment against Somali students.

“All students have a right to go to school without fearing harassment from their peers, and schools have a responsibility to ensure students can exercise that right,” said Thomas E. Perez, assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s civil rights division.

The state chapter of CAIR also filed a complaint against the St. Cloud schools last year. Education Department spokeswoman Sara Gast said that investigation is ongoing.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • artist

    Oh, kids are cruel!!! When will folks ever just accept it? Anyone who’s a little different from others is susseptical. You gonna tell me those somali kids never teased anyone? Sounds like one group of poeple looking for special treatment. If I recall my teen years, every kid thought they deserved just a little more than the other. And when every parent refuses to believe their own child could do such a thing (teasing), thats where the biggest part of the problem starts.

    • justice

      You’ve clearly missed the point of the article. It is not about kids being kids but the fact that the system favored one over the other.

      • Rusty Shackelford

        And they call you racist. No more Kenyan born Obama.

        • Rusty Shackelford

          I bet those Somali’s don’t pay a dime for that YMCA membership either.

  • Bob

    Thanks for being a great censor why are you not censoring all comments ?? on All of your message boards??

    • Jaime

      They can start by correcting your grammar.

      Here I thought an educated lib would know better.

      tsk, tsk.

      But hey! If you want to pander to the Somali community some more, come on down to Riverside Plaza!

  • Don


    • don

      Ok any of you bleeding heart libs want to really engage in a real fight? Let me know and I will send your commy ass home to somila or cuba or where ever your commy is

      • YourMother

        Hey Don, in order to fight someone wouldn’t that require you to let go of my skirt?

  • Negen Pam

    Nobody likes the truth

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Stay stong guys, we all know Liberals coddle Somali immigrants to secure the Democratic vote. Why are there not more of us speaking out on this? But don’t let anyone call you a racist.

    • Repeater

      Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist. Rusty is a racist.

  • HonestyMan

    Don, If you want send Somalis back to their country. Why don’t you go back where you or your parents came from? This is the nation of immigrants live well and pay the tax. Only Natives can claim that they belong, but as the constitution saying whoever protect this land belongs it.

    • tom

      they do not belong here and we are tired of paying for them. enough is enough.

    • W.L

      Most Somalis dont pay taxes. they come to the US for a FREE Ride. and to take advantage of our Grants, and us tax paying citizens, I would have to agree everyone to send them back home and live their own laws and mooch off thier own people.

    • married to the truth

      Big difference from our past generations of immigrants and those from somalia today! You see, they all did there part in doing what was right. They came legally and were not on visas or extended stays witch then they did not have 16 kids so that they had to stay no matter what their status was with immigration. They also had jobs. Yes plural! Try it once you lazy stinky bombs. They worked hard and paid their way. Try that once too! Get off the government for just one year and feel what it is like to make you own and take care of your own! It gives you sense of self worth. Not like a gang or hoard of traveling black sheet bandits. They were not on the governments coat tails for every little thing they wanted. Do you understand that things were very different back then? So take your pity for the smellys back to somalia and stay there. Come back when you can truly live free, learn to obey the laws, and last but not least, take showers!

    • Rusty Shackelford

      HonesteyMan, I am confused, did the Somalians Revolutionize America? Or are they simply living off of the fruits of our land.

      • married to the truth

        lol! exactly my friend. I owe you a beer for being normal. funny as it may be.

  • garyjr

    I know of this situation. It was the samelly kids at fault. They gang together and hastle every white kid that entered “their” hallway. And it just didnt work out good for them when some “bigger” white kids entered their territory. – Honestyman… whoever protect this land belongs it? Spoken like a true black man from somalia… You samellians dont protect Anything in this country except for what you believe to be your own rights.

    • Rusty Shackelford

      Good pont garyjr. They know this fact already though. That is the outrage, racism against hardworking white America.

  • Go Home

    Ship those stinky worthless people out

  • Rusty Shackelford

    The liberals are importing future voters. Do a story on that WCCO.

  • Jamal Muhammad

    remember the youtube video where somalian kids videotaped their friends pushing white people off their bikes? it was hilarious. minnesota’s own America’s Funniest Video moment

    • Rusty Shackelford

      Here is where they try to split us apart, next story.

    • married to the truth

      I remember when I got a temp job at a place where a bunch of stink bombs worked. I would pee on the floor everywhere so when they all went in for morning and afternoon prayer they had to kneel in my pee. That was hilarious too!

      • Rusty Shackelford

        Temp job, liberal, vandalism? Sounds about right…
        READ THIS FOLKS!!! “married to the truth”? or someone more sinister?

        • married to the truth

          Ahhh? I was 18. Liberal? Vandalism? LMAO I thought you were okay but now you are just a spacey.

    • garyjr

      There was an even funnier video with Allah eating a goat sandwich and then got squished by the big foot from Monte Python. I’m still snickering…

  • artist

    Here it is after 11:00 on a Tuesday night. Just got back from takin my dog for her evening walk in Cottage Grove. Behind a local mall in what could be called a lit alley, would you believe there was a group of 6 somalis hangin out and playin hackeysack? I don’t know if theres a curfew here, but wouldn’t these kids have school tomorrow?

    • Rusty Shackelford

      “artist”, who cares if they are Somali, if they are playing a game and minding thier own business, so should you. What is your point.

      • artist

        RS, Point is, what are young teens doing out at this hour anywhere. But I suppose they could all be dropouts with nothin to do but sleep in the mornin’.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    I am not racist, I hate white liberals who tell us we are racist. In fact, I am very diversified in all aspects.

  • RIII

    For such a small group of people they sure make a lot of news. I have known many old immigrants that came from all over the world , you would never know they were not born and raised here. Their biggest priorities when they came was to get a job and work hard so they could support their own family, learn English proficiently and get along with others. I suspect the Somalis will leave for the west coast when they get to the end of the time they can collect welfare here.

    • Rusty Shackelford

      Liberals want them here for thier voting agreements with the Somali counsel.

      • Rusty Shackelford

        The Hmong culture is awesome with me and our culture. So now the Liberals in Minnesota are experimenting with another race.
        Hey Somali Americans, read up on history deeper, the “Democrats” are not here to help you, they use you as pawns. We are fine with fair and honest people, no matter race or religion.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Hey Liberals, go blast your U2 on full blast while riding your bycicles through the cities all you want, but you have no idea for the comments in which you make.

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  • Rusty Shackelford

    Hi Somali Americans.GARYJR is a Liberal, typical tricks used to prick at the sides of those from ANY religion.
    Nice one a hole.

  • NOT a racist

    Great… now we can completely forget about them following the same rules are kids are expected to follow. Honestly, people wonder why the Somalis get such a bad rap and we are all a bunch of horrible racists. Ever think that it is because of their behavior, attitude and expectations? I’m not the slightest bit racist, one of my best friends is Mexican! However, I cannot tolerate ANYONE, regardless of race, that bullies, expects hand outs, continues to have kids they cannot afford, refuses to speak the language of the country they are living in, expects special treatment and arrangements, cries racism every time people don’t bend over backwards for them or try to hold them to the same standards as the general public, and refuses to stand for the Pledge on grounds that it is “against their religion”. Yes, that happened in my daughter’s school. It isn’t against their religion to take advantage of everything this country has to offer! To those of you that like to preach that we are all immigrants… lets remember the mentality and sense of responsibility our ancestors had when they arrived to create and develop this country. Now compare that to a group that wants everything for nothing and loves to play the victim/racism card. Hey, had they come here and made every effort to support themselves, contribute and help makes this country better, I wouldn’t have an issue. Sadly, that is not the case!

  • Stop African Immigration

    Does anyone have any idea of the cost of these “probes”? My god everytime I turn around some Somalian is crying like a baby and sueing for this or that! European countries have stopped African immigrants from entering their countries! There is a reason for that! Before calling others crazy or racists….educate yourself on the issus that all of Europe is dealing with! Ignorance is bliss……but the issues they are facing….are coming here soon….

  • tryecrot

    Yes there should realize the opportunity to RSS commentary, quite simply, CMS is another on the blog.

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