Tags: George Floyd Protests | minneapolis | floyd | chauvin | trial

Minneapolis Public Schools to Close On-Site Learning Ahead of Chauvin Verdict

Minneapolis Public Schools to Close On-Site Learning Ahead of Chauvin Verdict
LED candles are placed beneath a portrait of George Floyd during a birthday celebration for him at a memorial site known as George Floyd Square on Oct. 14, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 16 April 2021 06:27 PM

Minneapolis Public Schools will shift to distance learning for the second half of next week in anticipation of a verdict in the George Floyd trial, Superintendent Ed Graff said in a statement posted to the school’s website Friday.

The move comes just as some students are returning to in-person learning.

Derek Chauvin, the police officer charged with Floyd’s death, invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to testify on Thursday. The jury is expected to hear closing arguments on Monday and could deliver a verdict in Chauvin’s trial next week.

''Our community is moving through an extraordinarily challenging time as we react to the killing of former MPS student Daunte Wright by a Brooklyn Center police officer, just as testimony in the trial of former officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd concludes and the case goes to the jury,'' the school district said in a statement posted to its website.

''We anticipate that a verdict in the Chauvin case could impact in-person learning in Minneapolis Public Schools. … After speaking with Hennepin County sources, we believe we can best serve students and staff through changing the learning format next week.''

The city is already on the edge over the Chauvin trial and the shooting last week of 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. Wright was shot during a traffic stop in the suburb of Brooklyn Center. Hundreds have protested outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department to chant Wright’s name, defying a 7 p.m. curfew.

''I’m asking everybody to go home. We need to keep the peace in our city,'' Mayor Mike Elliott of Brooklyn Center pleaded Monday night.

''We need to make sure that there is a tomorrow that people can gather peacefully as well and continue to express their grief,'' he added.

School officials in their statement said students may be impacted by ongoing public protests and cautioned participation.

"Some students may feel called to participate in collective actions being organized around the city, but MPS also recognizes our primary need and your primary desire to keep students safe. We cannot deny the fact that people with ill intentions sometimes take advantage of communities in crisis. Leaving the school campus should be a family and caregiver decision done while carefully weighing the potential dangers and concerns in the broader community.''

All school events from April 21 to April 23 are canceled as well as before- and after-school childcare programs. The district will continue to provide meals for pickup through the week.

"These plans are made based on what we know today," wrote Graff. "Should trial activities change, we will reevaluate, adjust plans and let families and students know as soon as possible."

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Minneapolis Public Schools will shift to distance learning for the second half of next week in anticipation of a verdict in the George Floyd trial, Superintendent Ed Graff said in a statement posted to the school's website Friday. The move comes just as some students are...
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2021-27-16
Friday, 16 April 2021 06:27 PM
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