Internal emails at Minneapolis South High School reveal safety concerns

Internal emails at Minneapolis South High School reveal safety concerns

Internal emails at Minneapolis South High School reveal safety concerns

Staff members at Minneapolis South High School have revealed safety concerns and a pattern of violence this year in emails obtained by KSTP.

A Minneapolis South High School employee, whose identity KSTP protected, told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there has been a pattern of violence at the high school since the beginning of the school year and internal emails obtained by KSTP showed staff members and teachers are often “afraid” of physical violence.

“Let’s be clear. Kids are assaulting each other and assaulting adults with regularity,” said the South High employee. “I have had colleagues say to me they’re terrified about certain kids.”

KSTP obtained an email written by a teacher to an administrator at Minneapolis Public Schools. In the September email, the teacher said, “I witnessed a student assault another adult when he punched the para and kept shoving him. I know what I am speaking of when I talk about the levels of student outburst that are putting others in danger. Please don’t let this escalate within the walls of South High… I know that far too often these events are downplayed.”

KSTP also obtained a November email written by another teacher.

In the email thread to colleagues, the teacher said, “I, and 5 students, sheltered in place after hearing what I thought may have been gunshots in the all-gender bathroom. Three or four loud retorts were heard. I locked my door and we retreated to the darkroom in the back of my classroom. I did call the main office, and told the substitute receptionist what I’d heard. It happened at the end of the 3rd hour after students had mostly left my room. I made the call to the main office @ 11:37. No one came. Have we normalized the crazy so that we just think setting off fireworks in school is just a funny prank? What happens if next time it’s actually a gun?”

The employee who talked with KSTP with her identity concealed added, “It’s not about the teachers. It’s not about the offerings. It’s not about the curriculum. It is safety. Period. And, by the time you get to middle school at MPS, and then high school, it is a joke. It is just a joke and no one wants to say it.”

KSTP reached out to Minneapolis Public Schools for a response, but an MPS spokesperson said “no comment.”