Education

Minnesota Middle School Advised Students On How To Protest

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Chrissy Clark Education Reporter
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A Minneapolis public middle school sent a newsletter to students Feb. 15 with advice on how to protest the death of Amir Locke, according to a copy of the letter obtained by a concerned parent organization.

Justice Page Middle School sent middle school students the “Rhino Report,” which told 12-to-13-year-old kids that they should remain silent at Black Lives Matter protests, “ESPECIALLY if you’re White.” Students were also encouraged to wear “nondescript clothing” and to bring a first aid kit “incase [sic] you get hurt,” the letter obtained by Parents Defending Education reads.

“When it comes to Black Lives Matter protests, if you’re not Black, remember that you’re there to show your support and amplify Black voices. ESPECIALLY if you’re White, if they’re offering the megaphone for anyone to speak, it’s not for you,” the Rhino Report read.

Students were also told not to post videos with people’s faces “especially if it’s someone doing art/graffiti,” and to write in sharpie the name of their parents or “local legal aid organizations” on their arm and glaze it in hairspray “so it lasts longer.”

“Wear long sleeves, mask, glasses [to] protect against COVID-19 and Tear gas,” one bullet point read. (RELATED: Public School Must End Racial ‘Affinity Groups’ Following Lawsuit)

The newsletter was released 12 days after Amir Locke was fatally shot by a member of the Minneapolis Police Department during a no-knock search warrant in a homicide investigation.

The “Rhino Report” is a publication of Minneapolis Public Schools, not the middle school, according to the report. The newsletter is edited by Travis “TJ” Koupal, an eighth-grade Earth Science teacher at Justice Page.

Erika Sanzi, the Director of Outreach at Parents Defending Education, called the newsletter “inappropriate” for the age group it was distributed to and alleged that it was “done behind the backs of parents.”

“It is inappropriate for a school system to be providing protesting advice to 12-year-olds, especially when it is for particular causes and varies based on students’ race. It is also a problem that it was done behind the backs of parents,” Sanzi said.

Minneapolis Public Schools spokeswoman Crystina Lugo-Beach did not answer the Daily Caller’s question as to whether the district approves of the message presented to teenage students.

“At Minneapolis Public Schools, we value and encourage student voice,” Lugo-Beach said. “The Rhino Report newsletter is a student publication that was written by students in an after school community education program. The publication represents the viewpoints of students, very similar to an editorial written for a newspaper.”