MPS changes course, says North High School principal will remain in position

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Minneapolis Public Schools said Sunday that North High School Principal Mauri Friestleben will continue to lead the school through the end of the school year. This comes two days after the district said she would be placed on leave.

Friestleben posted on social media Friday that she was terminated for violating school district protocol and said, “Today was my last day with Minneapolis Public Schools.”

In that post, Friestleben said the school district “strongly advised” her to not participate last February in a peaceful student protest in which North High students staged a sit-in at city hall following the shooting death of Amir Locke during the execution of a search warrant by Minneapolis Police.

Friestleben said that was the reason for her termination and added, “I will not hold anyone other than myself accountable for this outcome.”

Her dismissal fueled an online push called “Bring Mauri Back” which encouraged the school district to reconsider its decision to let Friestleben go.

Sunday, Friestleben posted on social media that she was coming back to North High and said, “I am overwhelmed with gratitude to return to North Monday morning to finish the year.”

Victor Martinez is a parent who helped organize the “Bring Back Mauri” social media campaign.

“And, when I saw it I was like, ‘Yes, we did it.’ This is what it looks like to our community,” Martinez said. “This was all community from parents to coaches, people that care about this community coming together and making it happen.”

Minneapolis Public Schools issued this statement Sunday from Superintendent Ed Graff:

“Dear Polar Community,

I am writing to share that Principal Mauri Friestleben will continue as the North High School leader through the end of the school year in an effort to bring this school year to a successful close for North students.

We apologize for the difficulty this situation has caused the North community—and especially our Polar students. Principal Friestleben will be welcoming students again at North on Monday.”