St. Paul Public Schools settles teacher retaliation lawsuit

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — St. Paul Public Schools has agreed to settle a 2017 whistleblower lawsuit with a black former teacher who accused the district of retaliating against him for criticizing its racial equity policy that led to a reduction in suspensions of African-American students.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in May that the case could go to trial after concluding a sensible juror might agree that 50-year-old Aaron Benner was forced to quit.

But the school board officially approved the $525,000 payout Tuesday before Benner's scheduled trial next month.

Benner in 2014 criticized the district's disciplinary initiatives that included moving more children into normal classrooms and reducing suspensions for African-American students. Benner said that disruptive students were placed in his classroom and contended the policy was "crippling black children" by not holding them accountable.


This story has been corrected to show that Brenner's initial criticism came in 2014, not 2013.

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