Principal calls on Minneapolis community to offer in-person activities during break

A Minneapolis high school principal called on her community to offer in-person activities for students during a two-week break at the beginning of April that will coincide with a high-profile murder trial in the city. 

In what she called an "open invitation to the difference makers out there," North Community High School Principal Mauri Friestleben asked the community to engage Minneapolis students during the two-week break before students return to in-person learning in mid-April.

Friestleben says she wrote the invitation because she is "worried" for her students during that break.

"If the weather is warming up and they have no school, they’re going to go outside," Friestleben told FOX 9. "And if they’re outside during a volatile trial, they’re going to get caught up in the masses."

Friestleben is referring to the trial of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, which begins this month. Chauvin is on trial for murder in the death of George Floyd, which sparked riots throughout the city of Minneapolis last summer.

"I don’t want to lose any more of my kids," Friestleben said.

When she looked around for activities for students during that two week break between March 29 and April 11, she only found online activities.

"The kids are tired of being online," she said.

During those two weeks, school staff will be busy preparing for the return to in-person learning, so Friestleben said she is calling on the "village" to make a difference.

"We all know the schools have borne the brunt of keeping kids busy forever," she said. "We need the village to take their turn - especially now."