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MPS Board Backed Into a Corner by Protesters

The Minneapolis Public Schools board had quite the gathering Tuesday evening. What was supposed to be a pretty cut-and-dried meeting turned into the board voting on an item that wasn’t on the original agenda.

According to the Star Tribune, protesters packed themselves into the boardroom to demand the board rehire seven “educators of color” who were “pushed out” for “advocating for students.”

And demand they did. MinnPost sets the scene:

When the crowd tried filing into the room, they were met with resistance at the doors, because the room had already reached capacity — 148, according to a plaque posted inside the room. After a tense standoff — punctuated by demands of “Let them in!” — the demonstrators spilled into the room, cramming into all the open spaces.

After almost two hours of public comments, Board Chair Rebecca Gagnon moved forward with the discussion. But the protesters continued to overwhelm the meeting:

By that point, quite literally, the room had begun to heat up. Looking to transition into board discussion, Board Chair Rebecca Gagnon said “it’s really warm in here” and proceeded to navigate a rather unconventional board discussion, interrupted with questions, jeers and demands from those in attendance.

The tirade from protesters “forced” the board to vote on a resolution reversing the resignation status of the seven employees. So, the protesters accomplished what they came for. But it’s the unsavory tactics used — the chanting, hissing, interrupting, and jeering — that discredit them and reveal their contempt toward the democratic process.   

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