The One Story: HBCUs And The Gatekeeping Of Black Culture
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A Minnesota student who viciously beat a Black teacher was released without bail Thursday after a court hearing.

Corey David Burfield, 18, of St. Paul, was charged with one count of first-degree assault and one count of third-degree assault in the violent beating of school aide Mohammed Dukuly on Tuesday (May 22) at Harrison Education Center, an alternative high school in Minneapolis. District Judge William Koch determined that Burfield, who is white, was not a flight risk during the student’s appearance in Hennepin County District Court. Burfield was allowed to walk, only having to submit to electronic home monitoring and keeping away from Dukuly. The student also is required to meet with a mental health professional, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

Burfield’s case mirrors that of several white males who get slaps on the wrist for violent crimes because they are seen as “lone wolves” or mentally unstable individuals. Verdicts such as Koch’s are often offered as examples of White males using privilege to get leniency.

Though Dukuly made a miraculous recovery, the fact stands that he was still brutally assaulted. The decision to release Burfield without bail didn’t sit well with the teacher’s family.

“Quite frankly, we are disappointed,” Imam Mohammed Dukuly, the victim’s uncle, said. “For a serious case like this, I think he should’ve been on bail.”

The scary incident involving Burfield and Dukuly also sheds light on a turbulent and disturbing history of assault at Harrison. Several violent events between students and administrators have occurred as community members have complained that special needs children’s issues have gone unaddressed, the Star Tribune said.

Dukuly’s assault may also further conversations about special education, with stronger efforts for improvement across the nation.


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