Another school district grapples with student violence

Schools districts in Minnesota are dealing with an increase in student violence and some believe COVID-19 lockdowns may be to blame.

Like other schools in the state, Hopkins High School in Minnetonka is dealing with an uptick in student violence. (Hopkins High School)

A recent brawl involving teachers and students at Hopkins High School has some Minnesotans concerned about the impact COVID lockdowns and social justice ideology are having on young people.

On Monday, Nov. 22, Hopkins students were ordered by Principal Crystal Ballard to shelter in place following a fight that saw three staff members get hurt.

According to Bring Me The News, the teachers were attempting to break up an altercation that involved at least four students. A glass wall was broken, and police and paramedics were on the scene as well.

The incident occurred around lunch time when a sit-in organized by the student government to protest the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict was being held.

Although it’s believed that no participants of the sit-in were involved in the fight, some of them reportedly had signs with the F-word on them, which potentially inflamed tensions with their classmates.

Ballard said in an email later that night that the shelter in place order was meant to “restore calm in the building,” and that staff were attempting to “address” concerns some students had with signs at the sit-in.

Located in the west suburb of Minnetonka, Hopkins High School is sadly no stranger to violence. The school experienced a fight involving 10 students just days before the Thanksgiving week skirmish. Ballard has clarified that that one was instigated by students not enrolled at Hopkins.

As previously reported by Alpha News, other Minnesota schools are seeing an uptick in physical altercations too. Rochester Public Schools, for instance, has witnessed a noticeable rise in disruptive student behavior following the return of fully in-person learning. According to MPR, Brainerd High School experienced three “physical altercations” in the first three weeks of classes.

Martha Njolomole, an economist at the Minnesota-based Center of the American Experiment, believes COVID lockdowns may be a contributing factor as to why that’s taking place.

“As students [head] back to the classrooms, educators and health care providers are reporting delayed social development and other signs of mental health problems like disruptive behavior, and self-injurious behavior,” Njolomole said in a recent blog post.

“Multiple reports from the CDC have already indicated an uptick in the number of adolescents reporting mental distress or hospital visits due to mental health distress.”

Another possible factor that contributed to the Hopkins incident is that the school district voted to end its contract with the Minnetonka Police Department last year after students complained about the “trauma” of seeing an armed police officer in the hallways every day.

Four students met with the Hopkins Public Schools superintendent and asked that funds instead be used for “mental health” resources.

Minneapolis Public Schools and Saint Paul Public Schools voted to end their contracts with police last year as well.