By: Brady Slater
Saturday October 3, 2020
Incident in September in Duluth saw group of men in pickup target Qorsho Hassan.
Qorsho Hassan was named the 2020 Teacher of the Year by Education Minnesota. (Photo courtesy of Education Minnesota)
The statewide teachers union Friday stood by a Muslim teacher who said she was harassed in Duluth on Sept. 26.
Education Minnesota 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 last weekend 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 last weekend and explained what happened.
Education Minnesota President Denise Specht released the following statement Friday afternoon: “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," she said, condemning President Donald Trump and politicians who using 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 Burnsville elementary school teacher, Hassan was named this year's Teacher of the Year by Education Minnesota in August.
She's a fourth grade teacher at Echo Park Elementary School in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District.
“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 has not responded to a News Tribune inquiry about the incident.