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CAIR-MN Welcomes Federal Agreement on Race-Related Issues at South High School

US-DeptOfEducation-Seal(MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 10/10/14) – The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MN) today welcomed a federal agreement to help remedy race-related issues at Minneapolis South High School. CAIR-MN filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) after a brawl between Somali-American and African-American students erupted at the school on February 14, 2013.

CAIR-MN asked the DOE to investigate allegations that African-American and Somali-American students were subjected to a hostile environment on the basis of race and national origin and that the school failed to stop the harassment.

“We welcome this agreement and hope it will lead to an educational environment free of harassment based on race, religion or national origin,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Attorney Ellen Longfellow.

Longfellow said the federal agreement ensures the school's compliance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and outlines an action plan to create an environment in which students are protected.

The agreement calls on the school district to promptly investigate all incidents of harassment; issue an anti-harassment statement; review and revise harassment and bullying policies; provide staff and student training; conduct climate surveys; and establish anti-harassment advisory councils.

In 2012, 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.

CAIR-MN Asks DOE to Address Racial Tensions in Minn. Schools
District, Feds Reach Agreement (Owatonna People's Press)
Owatonna Schools, Feds Settle Somali Case (Star Tribune)
Feds, Owatonna School District Reach Settlement Addressing Racial Tensions (MPR)
Owatonna Settles Probe Into Somali Harassment (AP)

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 Civil Rights Director Ellen Longfellow, 612-206-3360, E-Mail:; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail:

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