Rogers ‘Tweeting’ student transfers

Bill Hjertstedt, president of the Elk River Area Education Association, is one of the people to address the Elk River Area School Board Monday night. Hjertstedt represents the Rogers teacher who was harmed by the Twitter post. More from the meeting will be in next week’s paper and in breaking news at pressnews.com. (Sun staff photo by Jim Boyle)

Bill Hjertstedt, president of the Elk River Area Education Association, is one of the people to address the Elk River Area School Board Monday night. Hjertstedt represents the Rogers teacher who was harmed by the Twitter post. More from the meeting will be in next week’s paper and in breaking news at pressnews.com. (Sun staff photo by Jim Boyle)

At an earlier special session by the Elk River School Board, Supt. Mark Bezek breaks protocol to address students, parents and media who turned out in interest or concern over student Reid Sagehorn’s suspension. (Sun staff photo by Jim Boyle)

At an earlier special session by the Elk River School Board, Supt. Mark Bezek breaks protocol to address students, parents and media who turned out in interest or concern over student Reid Sagehorn’s suspension. (Sun staff photo by Jim Boyle)

Reid Sagehorn apologizes

by Aaron Brom & Jim Boyle

ECM-Sun Newspapers

Rogers High School senior and sports captain Reid Sagehorn recently made his first public comments regarding the Twitter incident that resulted in his lengthy suspension.

According to media reports, Sagehorn admitted that his tweet insinuating that he had kissed a teacher was wrong, was not meant to be serious, and that he had no intention of hurting the teacher.

“No matter how I meant it, (it) doesn’t matter,” Sagehorn was quoted as saying. “Sarcasm doesn’t belong on the Internet. One bad interpretation …”

Sagehorn also disclosed that he is transferring to another school, but didn’t say which one.

“I think it’s definitely important that everybody who has heard about the story know how sincerely sorry I am,” he said Saturday at the office of one his three attorneys. Sagehorn’s parents were at his side in the office.

The story snowballed from a two-word tweet, “Actually yes” — in reference to a gossip web site’s question if he kissed the teacher — into fully blown metro television and front page newspaper coverage. The case also ended up at the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, which reviewed the case and said there would be no charges.

 

BEZEK SPEAKS

At an earlier special session by the Elk River School Board, Supt. Mark Bezek broke protocol to address students, parents and media who turned out in interest or concern over Sagehorn’s suspension.

“We don’t usually get this many people at a legislative meeting,” Bezek prefaced his brief remarks.

The school superintendent said he spent the last couple of days meeting and trying to understand all sides of the issue at hand. He called it very complex, yet a simple issue that is very hard to break down.

“It’s a complex issue to break down because we’re treading on new ground,” he said. “This is something that is playing out all across the country.”

As recently as two weeks ago, Bezek said he was at a national superintendent’s conference where topics of digital citizenship and cyber issues were being discussed.

“This is new ground,” he said. “Disciplining students isn’t new ground, but we have two different worlds colliding. It’s a very political, polarized issue.”

Bezek said he won’t give up on finding the teachable moment or the alternative solution to the situation playing out at Rogers High School.

“There’s something out there that we need to get to,” Bezek said. “I support the process the building administration went through, but there’s more to it. Believe me, there’s some very, very hurt people out there on all avenues.

“It’s not just two people. There are many tentacles to this. It’s turning into this monster that I am trying to get my hands around.”

Bezek said what will help the district move toward some type of resolution is for things to “calm down.”

“There are hurt feelings all the way around,” he said. “Until that levels off a bit there’s no movement.

“I am trying to get there with different groups, but again I need help. I can’t do it myself. The more fire that comes at this, the more it sets this back.”

Bezek said he is trying to do what’s best for the school’s staff, the students, “because there’s more students than just one involved with this. These are things that can happen to anyone.”

Bezek said the proper forum for the public’s input will come at the 7 p.m. business meeting on Monday. Feb. 27.

“I’m sorry for breaking protocol, but we don’t usually get people to come to our legislative meetings,” he said. “But I am glad they did.”

One of Sagehorn’s attorneys was expected to represent the family at the Monday, Feb. 24, Elk River School Board meeting. Information from that meeting will be included in next week’s paper and on breaking news coverage at pressnews.com.

up arrow