Controversy alive and well in Mpls Public Schools

There are problems in River City, and again, the source as always is education. The Minneapolis Public Schools District in recent years has seen an explosion of success, growth and positivity. Ninety-eight percent of student-athletes in Minneapolis public schools have been graduating.

This has been led by the remarkable comeback of success at North High School. With state championships in both football and basketball, North’s student-athletes are beaming with confidence and success. Edison is also dominating, winning girls’ track and field titles three years running. Brent McNeal is doing another solid job as athletic director.

Years ago I remember a Black local politician saying, “That North High School should be burned down.” He was not re-elected, thank God.

Dr. Leo Lewis (Photo courtesy of U of M)

Two of the most successful, driven, educated and passionate people I know are North’s Athletics Director Dr. Leo Lewis and Minneapolis District Director Trent Tucker. Both have become targets of this foundation of abuse, bias and anger by leaders of the Minneapolis Public Schools system.

Suddenly they want to change the so-called structure of leadership. Why? Because our kids are graduating and getting scholarships to college thanks to Tucker and Lewis, both educated and armed with athletic backgrounds and endless contacts at the University of Minnesota, professionally in the NBA, New York, Chicago, the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings.

They have used their devotion to community to grow the system and are being punished unfairly. What surprises me is how our community sits by and does nothing. Not yet a peep out of the Urban League or NAACP or Black Lives Matter.

Lewis was placed on administrative leave two and half months ago for no reason and told not to talk publicly about it. He apparently reported that $400 was missing from a recent North sporting event. The virtually all-Caucasian Minneapolis Public Schools Board has used Keith Brooks to undermine the progress of both Lewis and Tucker.

Trent Tucker speaking at North High in April of 2017 (Charles Hallman/MSR News)

What these two men have done since 2014 is nothing short of a miracle. They’ve increased graduation rates for student-athletes, increased community partnerships, grants and donations, plus seen to the remodeling of high school fitness centers.

In 2015-16, how about 659 of 666 seniors who participated in Minneapolis athletics graduated. Longtime Southwest High School AD Ryan Lamberty was recently also placed on administrative leave. Apparently, several Southwest Black students and parents accused him of inappropriate behavior and bias.

Tucker was not used to walk Lewis out the door. However, he was asked to deal with Lamberty. Tucker, sensing conflicting administration fairness, resigned two weeks ago.

I’ve been told that this is the brainchild of two rogue school board members. Rebecca Gagnon and KerryJo Felder, using the delusional Brooks to do the dirty work. So far no due process and no follow-up from the union while the board forces Lewis to remain silent on their gag order.

This is no more than a public lynching on the character of a Ph.D. – Dr. Lewis. Tucker left because he could smell a rat. We are being hoodwinked.

The public school system wants to give the appearance of fairness because Lamberty is White and Lewis is Black. The school district is allegedly $33 million in deficit for 2018-19. Seriously? Tucker and Lewis clearly don’t make that kind of money.

This is nothing short of bush-league Minnesota Nice again. They are urinating on Lewis and Tucker while telling the public it’s raining.


3 Comments on “Controversy alive and well in Mpls Public Schools”

  1. Thank you for sharing. Interesting and sad to hear about this. It seems like when things are going well, someone always wants to break through. Wow!

    Alum ’87

  2. Why be surprised!! The ugly ruthless head of white supremacy and domination is alive and well in Minneapolis given approval by the Racist masochist Donald Trump your President.

  3. Larry: Journalistic credibility begins with ascertaining the gravity of all the facts prior to public statements. On this day your integrity is to be questioned categorically as pertaining to the contents of this article and, possibly with others due to the porous investigated approach taken here. While it is a fact that personal testimonies are viable resources in reporting, good journalism would lend the accused (Dr. Keith Brooks) opportunity to be interviewed on par with the resources consulted. This article miserably and blatantly failed to do so. In the future it would be wise to honor the laws of good reporting if one desires to be esteemed with journalistic credibility for after all the last thing we need is for you to be guilty of the very thing you’re accusing Dr. Keith Brooks of; being used as a black man to bring down other black men. This article is a riveting hypocritical display of your quasi expository thematic, for you did the Dr. Brooks what you alleged he did to others. Yet, in this case what you did is not alleged for it is written above. Consider a better approach next time and be more responsible in reporting, so those of us who care about your success can do so with conviction that you are credible, have integrity, and are equitable in your endeavors. Thank you.

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