Minneapolis Washburn students use Facebook for change

  • Article by: Steve Brandt , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 20, 2013 - 7:38 AM

Social media-savvy students sought to protect an athletic director but wound up ushering out principal.

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kanutoApr. 19, 1311:12 PM

Mr. Whiting and Simpson you should be proud. You stood up for your beliefs and the truth. The Washburn community has been ready for a leadership change. Teachers and students of Washburn, now is the time to express your vision for the future. Miller Pride!

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remlap1980Apr. 20, 1312:07 AM

Did they really compare themselves to the Arab spring? Really?

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frommychairApr. 20, 13 7:33 AM

Many principals feel they are the only voice that counts. One of the qualities of a great school is to let everybody say what they need to say, to listen with an open mind and to work with others to come to sensible conclusions. To silence voices through threats is the action of a dictator. To let the voices speak and to actually listen is the action of a leader.

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thak12Apr. 20, 13 8:09 AM

Mr.Brandt. I am wondering if you could do a follow up article and fill in some really necessary facts. Your article offers a lot of accusations but no further investigation into their validity. Take the text issue for instance. Did you see the text to be sure it exists? what did it say exactly? who was it from? Did you follow up with them to offer them an opportunity to explain what it meant? If the text person claimed there might be consequences, what are they? Are those supposed consequences school policy? What are the school policies on protests and sit-ins?? what are administrators responsibilities? what happens is a protest becomes violent? who's responsible for that? on and on. This article offer a lot of resuscitation of claims and accusation and appears to validate them without any attempt find out what the facts are. I know rumors and hear say are a lot of fun and there has been a swirling mess of rumors surrounding this issues. It really doesn't need any additional help. What this issue could use is some facts. thank you

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regularxApr. 20, 13 8:42 AM

I'm really sorry that the district has apparently decided to "split the difference" and force Dan Pratt out after reassigning the principal. How does this serve the needs of kids and the community? Who is helped by getting rid of a beloved director with over a decade of experience in the building? What message is the district sending?

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minnestupidApr. 20, 13 9:51 AM

Seems to me that by ousting both the AD & Principal, 2 groups of students come out badly. Pitting music/arts vs athletics seems counter productive. The way this was handled all around was badly done. Plus does this mean that now with social media being so dominant will the "inmates run the asylum" now? Don't like a teacher, hey lets run it on a facebook page & protest? Just good questions for everyone now in the social media age,like, was it really a good outcome for those who started the "Arab Spring"?

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farcicalApr. 20, 1310:39 AM

regularx: the district does not care about experience. It allowed this principal to cut experience and the use fear and intimidation over a probationary staff. Now that the staff has become experienced and the Machiavellian methods proved to be short-sighted, the district tries to save face with 2 reassignments. The problem in education is not so much building administrators, teachers, or students. It's ambitious movers and shakers who are trying to find and achieve the next best thing. They often tear down what works so they can rebuild in their own image. Exactly what the former WHS principal tried to do...but the students finally stepped up.

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O.A.R.Apr. 20, 1310:47 AM

Speak out for what is right! Washburn students gave those in authority a lesson well deserved.

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rickradio11Apr. 20, 1311:14 AM

Farcical, As a public school teacher, your summary of the ills of contemporary public education is right on the money. Why don't you turn your comment into an op-ed piece. Well done!

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bon2benApr. 20, 1311:14 AM

The students did not begin this process to prompt the ouster of the principal and were as surprised as everyone about the decision. However, given the District spokeperson's comments post-'reassignment', it's obvious that there was more to Markham-Cousins' removal than meets the eye.

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