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Parents speaking out after 2 violent assaults at Edison High School

December 09, 2018 10:25 PM

The parents of two students who were attacked in separate incidents at Minneapolis' Edison High School last week are speaking out about the recent outbreak of violence among students.

On Monday, the parents of a 15-year-old Edison student told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS their daughter was sent to the hospital with a concussion after three girls attacked her in the school's cafeteria. 

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On Thursday, another 14-year-old Edison student was knocked unconscious by another student and was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The victim's parents told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS their daughter also suffered a concussion and has another brain scan this week.

The mother of the 14-year-old injured in last Thursday agreed to talk with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS under the condition the family's name would not be used.

"This is an assault on my daughter and it was unprovoked," the mother said. "When you walk up to someone and punch them in the face it is an assault, when you knock someone unconscious and they are defenseless and you continue the attack, it is an assault."

The girl's mother said she is in the process of removing her daughter from Edison and is not happy with the current level of security and safety at the Northeast Minneapolis high school.

"I had warned the school about this girl who was bullying my daughter," the mother said. "And, they did not protect her and after I got the call I cried in the car all  the way from my job to the hospital."

The mother said her daughter is lucky her injuries were not more serious than the diagnosed concussion, but she said there are still more medical tests to be done.

"I never thought I would be bringing my daughter to a brain trauma specialist on a regular basis, to make sure everything is OK, all because of a terrible attack inside the school," she said.


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Hardy Armstrong is an Edison parent who told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his daughter was also punched in the face by another student after his daughter tried to help the girl who was knocked out.

"It's just a lot going on at that school right now," Armstrong said. "I would like to take my kids out of Edison High School because, I mean, I went through high school and what's happening is just ridiculous."

Armstrong said he met with school leaders at Edison back in October to warn them about what he said was "an escalation" of violence at the school and at some outside school activities.

"I met with the principal and the principal, basically, brushed me off," Armstrong said. "Eventually, I got up and walked out of the meeting because it did not seem like they were doing anything."

After his daughter was punched last Thursday, Armstrong said the school sent her home early in a taxi cab, along with another student who Armstrong said he was surprised to see at his house.

"I mean, I am not on the girl's emergency contact list, or anything," Armstrong said. "I could have been a pedophile, a rapist, or anything bad like that and here the school is sending her to my home without my knowledge and without her parent's knowledge."

Armstrong said he immediately notified the school it had sent the girl to his home and he wanted an explanation. He said he got an explanation and a very quick apology from one of Edison's administrators.

"I cannot remember the name of the assistant principal who talked to me," Armstrong said.  "But, she apologized over and over and said it was a mistake to send the girl to my home and then I was shocked to hear her say she could send another cab over to my place to pick her up and take her to her own home."

Edison administrators and the Minneapolis School District said they cannot comment on the incidents because it would violate student and family privacy laws.

Edison Principal Eryne Warne said she would be reaching out to families about moving forward and she said the school does have safety measures and programs in place which are designed to keep students and staff safe.

"We have counselors, social workers, mediators and other things on our campus for students," Warne said. "Unfortunately, there are times when we cannot predict when students will reach for violence to solve their conflicts."

The Minneapolis School District told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS there were eight assaults at Edison in the 2017-18 school year and so far, on record, there has only been one assault in the 2018-19 school year.

Warne did send the following letter to parents and guardians of Edison students:

"A Letter from the Principal

Friday, December 07, 2018 8:25 AM

Dear Edison Community,

It's been an emotional week at Edison. Our lunchroom was the site of unacceptable student behavior. We are troubled that these incidents happened on our campus and within our student body. This kind of behavior must stop.

We will continue to work with our school and district teams to restore Edison to a place of peace and learning. To all of you who have reached out to tell us that you still believe in Edison, I thank you. We know we can recover with your support.

I hope that we will all consider how we can build and maintain the safe, respectful school culture at Edison that every one of our students deserves. The majority of us already do that - and I thank you for that. Let's think about ways we can ensure all? of us contribute positively, by taking actions such as:

  • Contacting school staff about any ongoing conflicts that may make their way back into the school. Don't take the issue into your own hands.
  • Taking advantage of neutral conflict resolution resources available right in our own school. Our Deans and Social Workers are ready to support you with mediation and restorative circles.
  • Seeking out your Counselor, Social Worker, or our Mental Health Collaborative for support when you need it.
  • Not using physical force to resolve a problem. It doesn't fix anything. When you choose violence, you not only hurt others, you make yourself vulnerable to harm and serious consequences - both school and legal.
  • Refraining from the use of cell phones, particularly social media, when in school. Focus on your learning and avoid emotional triggers.
  • Looking out for each other, treating each other with kindness and respect, and making the most of the opportunities to learn and grow.

Students must feel safe to learn. That requires the cooperation of all students, staff, and families. During this time, throughout the winter break and next year when we return to Edison, let's treat each other the way we want to be treated. Be good? to one another."

Credits

Jay Kolls

(Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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