North Community High School principal promotes ‘anti-racism and abolitionist teachings’


In late August 2020, Minneapolis North Community High School Principal Mauri Friestleben released a message to teachers to promote “anti-racist” teachings, but she told them, “I don’t need you to take time with my black child telling her how anti-racist you are.”

KARE 11, a local TV channel, posted the video.

She continued:

“Teach like you’ve never taught before. Let your revolution come through your instruction and your education. Teach with such an anti-racist lens that everything that you present to them — every content, every concept — is taught with such clarity, compassion, depth and conviction that they learn and learn and learn.”

She said about white students: 

“I don’t need you to guilt and complex-shame them into some sort of bizarre, moral anti-racist sadness that they can’t begin to grapple with.”

She cautioned teachers to not use “Black and Brown” students to make themselves feel better, but rather educate them well. She said:

“That will not come from your talking. And that will not come from your creating space for children to somehow help you get through your anti-racism experiences….”

The next month, on Sept 11, 2020, in one of her daily announcements on the school’s Facebook page, Friestleben spoke about students learning “anti-racism and abolitionist teachings,” inspired by the work of Dr. Bettina Love.

On Sept. 15, 2020, Friestleben released a video alleging that a lack of police staffing in their area led to the killing of a student.


How Minnesota school leaders are advancing equity work in a shaky back-to-school environment, Minnesota Post, Sept. 11, 2020

North High School Facebook Live, Sept. 11, 2020

North High School Facebook Live, Sept.15, 2020