Native girl says Lakeville, Minnesota tutor called Native Americans ‘savages’

Ana Negrete and her daughter River speak with FOX 9. (FOX 9)

River, Ana Negrete’s daughter, attends McGuire Middle School in Lakeville; and the family says it was here, after school, that a tutor left a permanent scar on River’s seventh year.

“I was kind of confused at first, and kind of shocked,” River said. She says it all started before Thanksgiving, when an after-school tutor scolded her, saying her family should celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It was like a whole 45 minutes,” River said.

River is Native American, and she says the conflict with the guardian heated up on or about January 5; with her tutor confronting her after school and referring to Native Americans as “savages who had killed her people.”

“River said, ‘Hey, you know that’s racist, right? And she said something like, “Well, there’s a town called Savage, so it can’t be that bad,” Negrete said.

Her mother spoke about it at a Lakeville boarding school meeting on January 10.

“Last week when I picked up my daughter from school, I was outraged to hear what she had been through at Lakeville Public Schools,” Negrete said during the public comment period of the meeting.

“I’m done shutting up,” she told FOX 9 on Monday.

Now Negrete says she worked with the school on a plan to get her daughter’s guardian away, “I don’t want her to have any contact with my daughter,” Negrete said.

Meanwhile, the school district sent FOX 9 this statement:

“Lakeville area schools are committed to providing welcoming learning and working environments for all and do not tolerate discriminatory behavior. This matter has been promptly investigated and appropriate action has been taken. taken to remedy the incident, including the removal of the employee from the after-school program where the incident occurred.”

But the family says the employee now works at the school library in River.

“She shouldn’t have to skip the library because that teacher is always in the library, kids shouldn’t have to navigate people who come to them,” Negrete concluded.

The Lakeville superintendent declined an interview with FOX 9 to discuss the situation, citing employee privacy laws.

Nohemi M. Moore