St. Paul Discrimination Suit

Timothy Olmsted
Heights Community School parents have filed a lawsuit that is now moving to federal courts against the St. Paul Public School District amid an investigation into allegations that teacher Timothy Olmsted discriminated against Black students.

In the suit, parents claim that the district failed to protect their children from Olmsted, the Star-Tribune reports. Latasha Tolbert, mother of 12-year-old Jamia Ware, said she made nearly 100 calls to school officials in the fall regarding Olmsted's classroom behavior but no action was taken until January.

Front, left to right - Melissa Dobbs,  Jamia Ware and Aulecia Jones. Behind - Vanessa Boyd, Melissa and Jamia’s grandmother,
Latasha Tolbert, Jamia’s mother, and Miguel Jones, Aulecia’s father.

Olmsted resigned once the district placed him on paid leave in the spring after parents complained that he called African American students "fat, Black and stupid" and told them, "you will never amount to anything" and "you only have one parent," WCCO reported.The teacher also allegedly forced African American students to sit in the back of the classroom, or sit with their desks facing the wall."He told the whole entire class that it is easier for him to teach rich White folks than poor Black people," Tolbert told WCCO.

Olmsted has a long history of inappropriate and offensive behavior. He resigned from Heights Community in March, but is still being paid through the first week of October -- and parents are dissatisfied. He is not facing disciplinary action due to the resignation.

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There have recently been two similar cases in the news -- a case at North End Middle School in Waterbury, CT and one at Marshall High School in Falls Church, VA.

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