Rocori Schools Promise Change After Racist Bullying Reports

COLD SPRING, Minn. (AP) — Leaders of a rural, central Minnesota school district say they plan to reexamine policies on bullying and discipline following reports that students of color have been targets of racist harassment.

Andrea Robinson says her Black children have repeatedly been targets of racist behavior in Rocori public schools.

Robinson said they’ve been called a racial epithet by other students, and have been singled out unfairly for discipline when they lashed out in response, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

School board chairman Jason Wesenberg says members will meet and develop an action plan.

“For that, I apologize to the community and the hurt that this has caused,” Wesenberg said at a board meeting last week. “But I’m very hopeful and encouraged that the outcome of this event will result in a very positive and growth opportunity for our district.”

Superintendent Brad Kelvington said the district won't tolerate harassment and bullying and that it's working to improve on that.

Efforts he cited include forming a district-wide equity committee, increasing staff training and student discussions focused on inclusiveness, providing mental health support to students and a tip line where they can anonymously report bullying.

The Rocori school district has about 2,000 students, who come from the Stearns County towns of Rockville, Cold Spring and Richmond. About 87% of students in the district are white.