Letter Describes “Peaceful” #NoDAPL Protesters Harassing Special Education Teacher


TOM STROMME/Tribune Protesters from the Sacred Stones Overflow Camp in Morton County staged a protest and blocked traffic on North Dakota Highway 6 at the entrance to St. Anthony early Wednesday afternoon. The protest group numbering up to 150 were prevented from entering St. Anthony by a combined law enforcement effort. For more photographs of the protest go to www.bismarcktribune.com.

The antics of the protesters working to obstruct the Dakota Access Pipeline have taken a sharp turn from obnoxious and annoying to downright ridiculous and indefensible.

Case in point, this letter to Superintendent of Public Schools Kirsten Baesler from Burleigh County Special Education Unit Director Barry Chathams describing harassment some of his teachers have faced when attempting to travel to schools in the area of the protest.

You can read the full letter below. Here’s an excerpt:


The incident where the protesters were using a pickup to block the teacher’s vehicle is absolutely ridiculous.

The teachers having to take alternate routes to their schools is probably caused by law enforcement officials blocking roads, but again that’s caused by protesters who insist on blocking the roads with vehicles and marches.

That the teachers are inconvenienced and made to feel unsafe is both scary and indefensible. That children are not receiving all of the education services to which they’re entitled is unacceptable.

Meanwhile Standing Rock tribal Chairman David Archambault – who insists that he is in control of protest activities – continues to resist asking those factions of his protests responsible for unlawful and, at times, violent activities to leave the area. “When building unity amongst tribes it’s never good to ask anyone to leave. The actions are not happening at the camp. I asked that if there are any actions that they are done with no violence,” he told reporter Mike Nowatzki.

You could say that this harrassment of teachers, and impediment to education of North Dakota’s children, is not “violent” per se.

But that doesn’t mean it’s ok.

Here’s the full letter:

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