Sunday, June 7, 2015

District 833 School Board Member Defends Black Panthers

Police Search for Additional Explosives 

after the Dayton's Bombing, 1970

A bomb exploded in the women's restroom of Dayton's departments store in downtown St. Paul on August, 22, 1970. The blast seriously injured one woman.  A second, more powerful bomb, was found nearby and defused.  The Dayton's bombing was the most spectacular of a series of bombings and attempted bombings in the Twin Cities that summer - a time of increasingly violent social unrest.  Sixteen-year-old Gary Hogan, an admirer of the militant Black Panther movement, was eventually arrested and convicted of planting the bomb.  He served three years of a 20-year-prison sentence.
 -Photo via Minnesota Historical Society

Email from District 833 School Board Member Sharon Van Leer to Superintendent Keith Jacobus

-Obtained via Freedom of Information Act

Should a woman who believes the Black Panthers  "worked to advance real economic, social and political equality across gender and color lines" be serving on the South Washington County District 833 School Board? 

Does the response to Sharon Van Leer from Superintendent Keith Jacobus  sound reasonable? 

 The response to concerned parents was one of complete disregard.  The paragraph below was read by a parent during the school board meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2013:

At a previous Board meeting where the superintendent said he considered the issue closed, he also comment that “the children are watching”.   That’s good.  They should witness how citizens of The Constitutional Republic in which we live, have the right to question and petition their elected officials in an open and honest dialog.  The children should also see that those elected officials have the responsibility to properly redress the grievances brought by their constituents.  One other additional thing they will notice – that the taxpaying community is watching too.

 To voice your concerns regarding oversight of District 833, please contact your elected officials on the School Board:

School Board Chair
School Board Clerk
School Board Director
School Board Director
School Board Director
School Board Treasurer
School Board Vice-Chair


  1. Blaming the Black Panthers for the actions of a disturbed 16-year-old "admirer" is like blaming the Pro-Life movement for the murders, bombings and assaults conducted by Christian terrorists against abortion providers. Maybe instead of inflammatory language and pictures, you should educate yourself about the greater role of the Black Panther Party in instituting a variety of community social programs including Free Breakfast for Children Programs and community health clinics. Or remain narrow-minded and continue to view the world through your distorted racist lens.

  2. Both Bobby Seale and Newton were convicted of violent crimes which include the following:

    • As a teenager and into his 20’s, Huey Newton worked as a pimp, strong-armed the weak, committed armed robberies and ran short-change scams
    • On October 23, 1967, Newton shot and killed Officer John Frey and wounded his partner during a traffic stop
    • In July of 1974, Newton shot and killed a 17 year old prostitute named Kathleen Smith
    • Newton’s violent offenses continued into 1978 with the rape of a 30 year old woman and mother of three and the murder of Betty Van Patter.

    These are but a fraction of the heinous offenses committed by these two members of the Black Panther Party.

    Before you start playing the "race card" I suggest you gather you facts, sweetheart.