Somali students stage walkout at St. Cloud Tech

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More than 100 students and a handful of adults protested outside Technical High School starting shortly before noon Wednesday. (Photo: St. Cloud Times)

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – More than 100 students and a handful of adults protested outside Technical High School starting shortly before noon Wednesday.

Junior Hassa Abdi said students gathered because they felt administrators had not addressed conflicts between Somali and non-Somali students in the school.

The latest in a string of incidents involved a recent social media post on Snapchat depicting a Somali Tech student and using a caption that implied she was involved in the ISIS terrorist organization, Abdi said.

The school is in containment, which limits students’ movements, according to district spokeswoman Tami DeLand.

The students organized the protest through social media, said Lul Hersi, who identified herself as a parent of a Tech student.

Students and parents feel they are being unfairly targeted for discipline by administration, she said.

She said there have been cases in which Somali students are victims of bullying by non-Somali students and retaliate. The Somali students are disciplined, but the aggressor in the bullying conduct isn’t punished, Hersi said.

“This is what we were trying to avoid,” Hersi said, as she pointed to the crowd of kids. “But when our kids are pushed and shoved, believe me they’ll retaliate.”

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