MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Several Minneapolis high schools posted a statement on social media Thursday addressing what they call "increased levels of violent crime" in the city.
The statement was posted on Facebook pages for Edison, Washburn, North, FAIR School Downtown, Patrick Henry and Roosevelt and signed "Your Minneapolis Public High School Principals."
"In recent days, many of us have seen even more violent incidents that are directly impacting our students; especially when school is letting out," the statement reads.
It asks students and staff to "continue to be vigilant, stay together, and avoid lingering."
According to the statement, the principals are asking for help from city street teams and placing volunteers in and near the schools around dismissal time. They're also asking parents to talk about safety with their students, plan safe routes home and take other safety measures.
In a follow-up comment, the North High School Facebook page said the school is particularly concerned with "cars with unknown passengers, circling after school let's [sic] out and following and/or robbing students once they're a block or so away from school."
The school said the Minneapolis Police Department sent a squad car to assist Wednesday afternoon.
Roosevelt Principal Christian Ledesma added on the school's Facebook page that "there have been several muggings in our neighborhood and robberies of beloved businesses in our community."
Minneapolis Public Schools said the message "did not originate at district offices," but the district "fully supports its high schools and principals in their work to keep students safe."
Read the full statement below:
There has been no shortage of publicity recently around increased levels of violent crime in our city. Returning to school in-person, in the midst of this heightened lack of safety, has been significantly challenging for us as at the High Schools.
In recent days, many of us have seen even more violent incidents that are directly impacting our students; especially when school is letting out. We want to be direct & transparent with our staff, students & families at this time.
Students & Staff: Please continue to be vigilant, stay together, and avoid lingering. We love you. We need you.
We would be remiss not to publicly declare that a lack of safety planning, especially for & around our children, is of great and urgent concern for us right now. We ask the entire Minneapolis community to come together to help keep our young people safe.
In the meantime, we will solicit even more help from our city street teams, strategically place volunteers in our neighborhoods & work to post up and around our schools right before, during and after our dismissals.
Families should remain in discussions around safe measures with your students, ensure that the safest routes home are being followed and even consider inviting your high schooler to be on the phone with you, or another loved one, while in transit.
Your Minneapolis Public High School Principals
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