DULUTH — The statewide teachers union is standing by a Muslim teacher who said she was harassed in Duluth on Sept. 26.
Education Minnesota on Friday, Oct. 2, said it was joining 2020 Teacher of the Year Qorsho Hassan in "condemning hateful rhetoric from certain politicians that inspired racial, xenophobic harassment of Hassan over the weekend."
Hassan said she was harassed by a group of young white men in a pickup truck, shouting racial insults and "Make America great!"
She appeared at a Twin Cities news conference earlier Friday organized by St. Paul-based Faith in Minnesota. During the news conference she said she had been in Duluth the previous weekend and explained what happened.
I was in Duluth this past weekend. This rhetoric isn’t the only reason why a group of white males violently chanted “white power” & “four more years” from a pick up truck as they circled around me. He is a symptom of the systemic racism in America & we need to own that ugly truth https://t.co/tI0IQGi6MD
I was in Duluth this past weekend. This rhetoric isn’t the only reason why a group of white males violently chanted “white power” & “four more years” from a pick up truck as they circled around me. He is a symptom of the systemic racism in America & we need to own that ugly truth https://t.co/tI0IQGi6MD— miss qorsho (@MNTOY2020) October 1, 2020
“Minnesota’s strength comes from us being there for each other — bringing together different people from different places and from different races into a community," Education Minnesota President Denise Specht in a statement, condemning President Donald Trump and politicians who use racially based fear tactics. "We stand with Qorsho Hassan and all our friends and neighbors who have become targets of harassment and hate this fall."
Specht urged others to vote in record numbers.
A fourth-grade teacher at Echo Park Elementary School in Burnsville, Hassan was named this year's Teacher of the Year by Education Minnesota in August.
“It means a lot,” Hassan said of the award at the time. “It’s very validating.”
Hassan grew up in Ohio a Muslim girl of Somali descent. Hassan has said she faced a lot of Islamophobia in school and didn’t see herself reflected in the teachers she had.
The Duluth Police Department on Monday morning, Oct. 5, said that it is looking into the incident.