PEM Superintendent addresses student behavior during Homecoming Week
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The superintendent of Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools addressed student behavior during their Homecoming Week in a letter sent to parents Monday.
Darrin Strosahl said the district has been investigating claims of the student code of conduct being violated since Tuesday Sept. 25.
KTTC reported on Friday Sept. 29 PEM High School Principal Mike Walton said they were not currently investigating any hazing issues. Rumors swirled in town about an incident, but no details have been confirmed by KTTC.
You can read Strosahl’s letter below:
Dear PEM Families,
I am writing to provide information and follow up on some incidents that occurred during our homecoming celebrations the week of September 25. We are aware that there are a number of rumors circulating throughout the community, and we want to offer as much transparency as possible.
A small number of students violated the Plainview-Elgin-Millville Community Schools code of conduct with some of their behavior Monday evening. The district has been investigating claims of this behavior since Tuesday of last week and, as a result, implemented corrective action for those involved. Unfortunately, student misbehavior unrelated to Monday’s event escalated by the end of week, prompting the cancellation of the parade, powderpuff game, and pep fest. Other community events continued as planned Friday and were successful.
We want to correct some misinformation and rumors, however. The poor behaviors we dealt with were not determined to be hazing, sexual harassment, or racially based, nor was there physical injury involved. The behaviors were however out of line and disappointing. Students can learn from this because what was intended as pranks and fun quickly turned and crossed a line that jeopardized student safety because of mob mentality. This caused students to be put at risk or in unsafe situations.
In a similar manner last week, what was intended to be fun went too far and property damage occurred. Again behaviors got carried away when lines were crossed that are not acceptable.
Because these situations involve students, we cannot share details regarding the exact consequences individuals will face. What we can say is that we were disappointed in the actions of some during what was supposed to be a positive and celebratory event. We will continue to issue corrective consequences in alignment with our own policies and those of the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL).
While we respect our traditions here in PEM, our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students. We hold our students to high standards, whether in the classroom, competing in extracurricular activities, or taking part in other events. We will continue to take all code of conduct violations seriously.
Moving forward, we will continue to work with students on repairing and building positive relationships, advise and be clear with students as to our expectations for the future, investigate and deal with poor behavior, and provide meaningful educational experiences and activities that promote student growth.
We appreciate the patience and understanding of our families and community as we address this important issue. Thank you for your support as we work to ensure a safe, positive, and welcoming environment for all students. Please recognize that coaches and parents would prefer to focus on their roles and have questions or concerns directed to school administration. My office number is (507) 534-3651 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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