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Letter to the Editor: Shame on You, Robbinsdale School District

Kirsten Purvis is upset at district officials for how three Armstrong students have been treated after a Oct. 6 incident in the hallway.

This is an open letter to the superintendent, the Armstrong principals involved and the school board: 

Dear Sirs and Madams:

I have been an avid supporter of this district over the years. I graduated from ; I have raised my children in this district. I have served as PTO president at Pilgrim Lane, and secretary on the board at . I have participated in focus groups in the district, and door knocked when the referendums were on the line.  I have waved the banner of this district for years. I am now ashamed of the district I have spent so much time supporting.

What you have done to and (the two juveniles being punished) is inexcusable. I cannot fathom why you have gone to such extreme lengths to punish these boys. We all know students get into horse play. They were group hugging in a rowdy teenage boy fashion. This time an accident occurred and a young boy briefly passed out. Punishable? Within reason, yes. Criminal? Absolutely no.

I understand that you need to keep order in your schools and I appreciate how difficult that can be at times. But surely you must be second-guessing your actions in this matter.

Look at the boys history in school. They earn good grades, they participate actively in sports, they are well liked by students and teachers. These kids are not a threat to anyone. They are leaders within their grade. They had bright and promising futures ahead including a senior year playing hockey on a team they have been with for years and applying to college. You have seriously damaged their futures.  

I question whether or not I should keep my daughters in a district that has so little regard for the future of their students. A 10-day suspension for rough housing is more than enough. A 45-day suspension is ludicrous and cruel. Criminal charges are unthinkable, yet here we are.

I am absolutely furious that you want to press charges on these boys. To make it worse, you had all week to arrest these boys, yet you waited until 5 p.m. on a Friday to do so. That left the boys in custody for an entire weekend waiting for bail to be set (Editor's note: Dmohoksi was bailed out on Saturday). How terrifying for them and their families. Was that done to inflict the most pain to them—or to keep them through the weekend to ensure you got every funding dollar from the state? You should be ashamed of yourselves. Every one of you. It should NEVER have gone this far.

There are many students at that witnessed the event. Yet the staff is not interviewing witnesses. Why? Some students have insisted you take their statements. If this is an active investigation, why is there no investigating going on? I find it extremely frustrating that no one is listening to their side of the story. Even the boy who was hurt is defending them, yet you won't listen to him, either.

I am asking all of you to step back and let cooler heads prevail. The punishment of 10 days suspension, as initially given, was sufficient. They have learned a very painful and extremely expensive lesson. Please do the right thing and drop these ridiculous charges and let them get back in school where they belong.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Purvis
Parent of two Armstrong High School students

Editor's Note: Patch removed the names of the juveniles who were suspended as well as the name of the victim, as they are all under 18 years old.

Do you want to write your own letter to the editor, either about this or another local topic? Email Golden Valley Patch editor Mary Costello at mary.costello@patch.com. Submission does not guarantee publication.

Kay Gordon October 24, 2011 at 06:30 PM
C'mon, Robbinsdale Schools. Admit you made a mistake and drop this thing. Or at least explain yourselves. I hope these boys sue the district to pay for their attorney's fees.
Dave Arneson October 24, 2011 at 07:57 PM
The school and the district has really painted itself into a corner and is now defending their actions by saying they are, "protecting their privacy". There is something rotten at Armstrong. Who goes after kids like this? Who waits until Friday to unleash the police on kids they've told are just going to be questioned, and has them locked up over a weekend like they were criminals? Kids they are supposed to be molding into future productive citizens. Quite the civics lesson for our children at Armstrong. Principal Dahl, Superintendent Sicoli, is this why you went into education? You've really got an upside down view of the world.

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