CAIR-MN Seeks Mediation, Training to Resolve Racial Issues at School

(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 2/18/13) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today called on Minneapolis South High School to utilize mediation and multi-cultural competency training to help remedy race-related issues at the school after a brawl reportedly between Somali and African-American students erupted at the school on February 14, 2013.

SEE: Food Fight Erupts Into Melee (Star Trib)

In a February 15 letter, CAIR-MN asked South High School administrators to provide the peer mediation and multi-cultural competency trainings to create a safe community for learning and growing.

"Racial and religious tensions in the community often manifest in schools and need to be taken very seriously," said CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya. "All students must have a safe learning environment."

On January 11, 2013, African-American students reported feeling unsafe at Washburn High School after a hate incident involving a dark-skinned doll that was hung by a string at the school.

SEE: Activists Want Disclosure in Mpls. Washburn High Doll Incident

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) reached a federal agreement with Owatonna and St. Cloud Public Schools after CAIR-MN asked for an investigation into the harassment of Somali Muslim students.

SEE: CAIR-MN Asks DOE to Address Racial Tensions in Minn. Schools

Saroya said CAIR-MN is launching a new program that will include community dialogues on shared civil rights experiences among minority communities in Minnesota.

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR-MN Executive Director Lori Saroya, 612-327-6700, [email protected]; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, [email protected]