By JAY XIONG
MINNEAPOLIS — Several mothers of Henry High School students that were assaulted while using city buses going between the North Minneapolis school and home, testified on April 9, at the Minneapolis School Board meeting. They described for the school board members what happened to their children when they were assaulted, and the impact the assaults have had on their families.
One Hmong mother talked about her son’s being attacked and knocked out while waiting for a city bus to take him home. She described ongoing medical problems from the concussion, with lapses in memory and concentration and balance.
The former honors student, he has been forced to drop all his advanced courses. He had already done internships at the University of Minnesota to become a dentist, and his mom now worries that he will not be able to reach his potential and goals in life. For safety reasons the family has transferred him from Henry to Hopkins high, and she announced she would be pulling all ten of her children out of the Minneapolis Public School system.
Another mother described how her son was robbed and was threatened with being killed. They shoved him to the ground and kicked him in the head, she said.
The lingering headaches have faded but she said her son remains traumatized by the attack, and continues to suffer anxiety. She said she would not be sending her younger daughter to Henry High.
The parents said they believe that educating the school board members in person was important because at times school officials have claimed they have no proof the assaults and other crimes have taken place. They said that when the assaults happen they are community problems not school problems, that some of the complaints are hoaxes, and that the assaults and other crimes would have happened while using school buses.
Meanwhile, Henry High students family and supporters have signed and sent 400 postcards to Minneapolis school board members asking for police on city buses and monitors at bus stops during hours that Henry students are going to and from school. The postcards told board members of problems Henry students have reported having while using city buses, including cellphone snatchings, inappropriate touches, stalkings, and an armed holdup. Half the postcards have gone to Kim Ellison, half to Alberto Monserrate.