Sasha Aslanian · ST. PAUL, Minn. · Jun 5, 2013
The Hopkins School District and an attorney for two students who were suspended and charged with misdemeanors this spring have reached an agreement.
The two parties announced Thursday that prosecutors have dismissed criminal charges against the two black students, and the school has overturned their suspensions. The two students were suspended after they protested a racially-charged incident at the school.
The district is also taking steps to improve race relations at the high school.
In February, some white members of the Hopkins ski team dressed up as rappers for what some called a “Ghetto Spirit Day” with gold chains, doo-rags and sagging pants. Some black students who felt school administrators were unresponsive to their complaints, put up posters in protest. An administrator took them down, and when two black students went to reclaim the posters, a school police officer was called.
According to police, one of the students put his hand on the officer’s chest, but the students say the confrontation was not physical. The two students were later charged with petty misdemeanors and suspended for three days.
The boys’ attorney is Nekima Levy-Pounds, who runs the civil rights legal clinic at the University of St. Thomas Law School. She said the students felt like a double-standard had been applied because white students weren’t punished for their conduct.