(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 9/15/2015) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today stands in solidarity withÂ the students, staff,Â administrators, and parents of Columbia Heights and shares similar sentiments fromÂ last night's school board meeting.Â
Members of the community called for the removal of school board member Grant Nichols after community members spoke to a pattern of similar behavior by the board member. The board made a motion to remove Nichols from the school board.Â School board chair John Larkin pleaded with school board memberÂ Ted Landwehr to accept the reality that Nichols admitted to him that he made these Facebook comments. However, Landwehr voted against both motions of removal andÂ censure.Â
“Last night's school board meeting and this morning's student protest at the high school showcased a community that is united against the bigoted statements made by Grant Nichols,” said Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of CAIR-MN. “We found out that Nichols is not the only board member that we are worried about. Ted Landwehr refused to listen to the community and his fellow board members.”Â
Hussein added that CAIR-MN will look at all options of removing Nichols from the school board including contacting the Department of Education. CAIR-MNÂ also urges community members to continueÂ calling for the resignation of Grant Nichols.Â Â
Hussein noted that CAIR is challenging similar anti-Muslim bigotry by a school board chairperson in Virginia.
CAIR offers a booklet, called “An Educator's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices,” designed to help school officials provide a positive learning environment for Muslim students.
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.
– END -Â