Anderson no longer defendant in ‘wangsta’ lawsuitMINNEAPOLIS — While Red Wing School District continues to face a civil lawsuit over the high school’s unofficial “wangsta” days, Supt. Karsten Anderson will no longer be listed as a defendant.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
MINNEAPOLIS — While Red Wing School District continues to face a civil lawsuit over the high school’s unofficial “wangsta” days, Supt. Karsten Anderson will no longer be listed as a defendant.
“We’ve conceded Karsten Anderson in his individual capacity should be removed as a defendant,” said Joshua Williams, an attorney representing plaintiff Quera Pruitt.
Anderson’s removal was the first thing to come out of a Friday morning hearing on the school district’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
U.S. District Court Judge David S. Doty listened as the defendant’s and plaintiff’s attorneys were each given 15 minutes to discuss the district’s motion.
Pruitt, an African-American who attended Red Wing High School, filed the lawsuit in July. She alleges that the student-led “wangsta day,” — also referred to as “wigger day” — held during the school’s homecoming celebrations in 2008 and 2009, infringed on her rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Commission and the Civil Rights Act.
The original complaint lists Anderson, as well as high school Principal Beth Borgen, Independent School District 256 and Jane and John Does (representing school teachers and administrators), as defendants.
Yet Anderson did not begin his position as superintendent with the district until July 1, 2011, after the retirement of former Supt. Stan Slessor.
“There’s nothing in the complaint that alleges he (Anderson) was working at the time,” Morgan Godfrey, the school district’s attorney, said Friday.
Godfrey also argued that much of Pruitt’s complaint was not based on facts, calling it “insufficient.”
“All the claims, we argue, fail,” he said.
“This case does not fail for lack of facts,” countered A.L. Brown, another attorney representing Pruitt.
Brown continued that the district and employees were responsible to put an end to “wangsta” days, but did not.
“The evidence that they did not stop it (is that) it happened again and again,” Brown said. “The school could be cut some slack if this happened once.”
Doty said he will take both sides’ arguments under advisement and allow the plaintiff’s attorneys to “clean up” and amend the complaint.
“Obviously, we’re going to dismiss certain things because the plaintiff agrees,” he said.
In addition to Anderson’s removal as a defendant, Williams said the plaintiff’s legal counsel has made “several” other concessions. Still, he called removing Anderson was the “most significant.”
“We’re here to do justice by allowing the other side to do what you ask them to do,” Doty told the defendants. “That’s provide the facts.”
Williams said after the hearing Friday that they will “comport with whatever Judge Doty tells us we need to comport with.”