January 16, 2019 06:50 PM
Staff and students at Edison High School in northeast Minneapolis are working to hit the reset button after several serious fights broke out on campus last month.
The school is now trying a new approach to ease tensions between students in the hallways and classrooms.
Each day, the school's roughly 900 students in 9th-12th grade meet in student advisory, a place to do homework or study.
But now on Tuesdays through the end of the year, that time will be spent in circles.
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Students say it's been a great time to share how they've been feeling.
"We've been using this advisory time recently to talk about different things and events happening in the school, and how that has made the student body react," senior Brandon Arneson said.
"I feel like it has made people realize the problems, set a plan to fix those problems, and ultimately not have those problems occur again," added fellow senior Gio Green.
But it has also been a time to listen to fellow classmates.
"Being in that circle and listening to other people and what they say made me realize a new perspective of how they saw the fights," sophomore Huda Abdulahi said.
Principal Eryn Warne could feel the temperature rising inside her school in December.
"I definitely felt a sense of change in our climate," she said.
The series of serious fights inside brought unwanted attention to the school.
"I think these fights have defined Edison, but it shouldn't have defined Edison," senior Caroline Anthony said. "It's not a place where people don't like each other and attack each other. Edison is a community-based school. We work together to make change."
Of all the schools in the Minneapolis Public Schools district, Edison High School had the second-highest number of incidents involving school resource officers during the 2017-18 school year, according to the district.
So when students came back from winter break, that change began.
"A storm passed through and it was real, and it hurt, but we are better than that, and we need to remember that we're better than that," Warne said.
Students say this isn't what they want to the school to be known for.
"Unfortunatly, I do feel like I have had to stick up for my school a lot," Green said. "I feel like Edison gets marginalized as an inner-city, rough, tough school and that does hurt me."
Principal Warne says focusing on making things better has been a positive way to start off the new year.
Warne said Minneapolis Parks and Recreation and the Hennepin County Library system are both working with the school to alert them if a situation with students occurs off campus - so school officials can be ready to mitigate any potential disrutption in the building.
There will be a parent and community meeting Thursday night to continue talking about and addressing the issues.
Updated: January 16, 2019 06:50 PM
Created: January 16, 2019 05:35 PM
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