- Associated Press - Monday, June 1, 2015

BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota State High School League on Monday approved one-year suspensions for dance team coaches from four schools who staged a protest during an awards ceremony earlier this year.

The league went beyond discipline imposed by the Chaska, Eastview, Lakeville South and Wayzata school districts.

The coaches and dancers questioned the originality of Faribault’s Class 3A championship-winning routine in February, and five opposing teams refused to participate in the awards ceremony. Coaches from the fifth team, Eden Prairie, decided against continuing in their roles.

The league has cleared Faribault of allegations that the dance team stole the routine.

More than two dozen people attended Monday’s board meeting at league headquarters. The board heard from 17 speakers, including administrators and coaches from the four schools. All of them doubted that the league granted them due process and asked for more time for additional investigations, the Star Tribune (https://strib.mn/1AJ6zfH ) reported.

Faribault activities director Ken Hubert told the board the “process is not the problem here. You have to address the actions that took place. I believe these coaches are good people but good people make mistakes and that’s what happened here.”

A league committee voted 9-1 for the one-year suspension in an earlier meeting Monday and presented the proposal to the board. The proposal also stipulated a letter of censure to each program’s activities director and participation by coaches in an in-service initiative called Why We Play, sponsored by the league.

After discussion, the board approved the proposal by majority voice vote. Three board members opposed the suspensions.

Also on Monday, the board approved medals for the athletes from Eastview and Wayzata. Medals were not handed out at the state competition.

“They did nothing wrong,” Wayzata activities director Jaime Sherwood said. Hubert concurred but added the schools should not receive team trophies.

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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