Josh Verges / St. Paul Pioneer Press
ST. PAUL — Nikki Staab was on vacation in October when a fight broke out in her usually well-mannered seventh-grade science class at Farnsworth Aerospace school in St. Paul. In a typical year, the teacher said, the disruption would have led to three-day suspensions for the boy and girl involved. Instead, back at school the following day, they listened for 90 minutes as their classmates asked questions and described how the altercation made them feel. "It was incredibly powerful. It was really emotional," Staab said. "After that, everything went back to normal."
ST. PAUL — A finding of discrimination against a Karen immigrant student is the latest strike against a St. Paul Public Schools equity initiative that pushed English-learning students into mainstream classes without language assistance. The St. Paul Department of Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity issued a finding of probable cause last month that the district violated the city's human rights ordinance by discriminating against a Como Park Senior High student because of his national origin.
MINNEAPOLIS—The FBI is investigating what the University of Minnesota calls a sophisticated fraud in its athletics ticketing office. Soon after an internal audit uncovered discrepancies in ticketing transaction records, the university on Feb. 4 fired Brent Holck, its assistant athletic director of sales and services.
ST. PAUL — The University of Minnesota has suspended and demoted its top athletics fundraiser accused of sexually harassing a subordinate with hugs and other unwanted touching. Randy Handel, the associate athletic director for development, will lose his supervisory duties and get a new title with fundraising duties and a lower salary, the university said Thursday, May 25, in response to a Pioneer Press records request.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The University of Minnesota Board of Regents launched an official inquiry Thursday into the leak of confidential information about an athletics official’s alleged sexual harassment of a fellow employee. KSTP-TV reported regents were notified Wednesday that Randy Handel, the associate athletics director of development, sexually harassed another employee in the athletics department.
ST. PAUL — Minnesota's Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger is asking state lawmakers for a $5 million contingency fund to help health officials respond to outbreaks of infectious disease. Already this year, state and local officials have spent nearly $3 million responding to measles, tuberculosis and syphilis, Ehlinger said in a prepared statement.
ST. PAUL — Flu season is all but over, but the Minnesota measles outbreak has metro medical centers handing out masks and telling their youngest visitors to stay home. Allina Health, which includes United Hospital in St. Paul, said Monday it is continuing its flu-season visitation restrictions, which bar visitors under age 5 to protect patients and staff. As an added precaution, children under 10 must wear a mask while visiting, and no one under 10 is allowed at Allina's childbirth centers.
ST. PAUL — A Central High School science teacher still battling the school district over injuries he suffered breaking up a lunchroom fight in December 2015 said Thursday that his career is likely over. John Ekblad, who had hoped to return to his job, said he's receiving full Social Security disability payments. "I don't think I'm going back to teaching again," he said outside a federal courtroom in Minneapolis following a motions hearing on his case against former superintendent Valeria Silva and assistant superintendent Theresa Battle.
CRYSTAL, Minn. — Minnesota's 2014 teacher of the year is losing his job amid a legislative debate over school funding and job protections for veteran teachers. Tom Rademacher criticized the so-called "Last In, First Out" (LIFO) policies that Republican lawmakers for years have tried to eliminate. "We are doing no one, certainly not students and teachers, any favors by making new teachers start over and over and over again," he said on his personal blog Sunday, April 9. But Rademacher said the larger problem is a lack of funding for schools.
ST. PAUL—The Minnesota State system wants its colleges and universities to do more to help students with basic life needs, such as food, housing and child care. System leaders told trustees Wednesday that many campuses have stepped up with food banks, child care grants and even cash for emergencies, but plenty of student need is going unmet. They said colleges should identify best practices for helping students and explore partnerships with county agencies and nonprofits.