No teaching license for Castile killer – an open letter from black parents and educators – MSR News Online

It recently came to our attention that Jeronimo Yanez, the former Saint Anthony police officer who killed Philando Castile, a black motorist, has applied for a substitute teacher’s license.

We were even more dismayed to learn that he quietly teaches Spanish part-time in a parochial school. Needless to say, it is shocking and traumatic to know that a former police officer who wrongfully killed an innocent black man would dare to assume another position of authority over children.

We stand in solidarity with the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board in its decision to deny Yanez’s teaching application on moral grounds. We would add to this the likely traumatic and psychological impacts on the black children placed in Yanez’s classroom.

Our community continues to collectively mourn the senseless police killing of Philando Castile. Children of all racial backgrounds, and especially black children, were heartbroken by Castile’s murder, given his own role as cafeteria supervisor within St. Paul’s public schools.

Additionally, Yanez’s presence has the potential to create an unwelcoming environment for black teachers, who already struggle to find a safe environment in which to teach. It’s counterproductive to retaining black teachers.

It’s a travesty of justice that Yanez hasn’t been held accountable in court for his egregious acts. Instead, his reckless behavior resulted in a $3 million settlement that the city of St. Anthony was responsible for. Although it is a financial loss for the City, the loss for the family of Castile is incalculable.

In light of the foregoing, we respectfully request that the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board confirm its decision to deny Jeronimo Yanez a teaching license. Thanks in advance for your consideration.


Titilayo Bediako
Executive Director, WE WIN Institute
Education Justice Co-Chair, Racial Justice Network

Nafisah Muhammad
ELA brand under license​r​
Educators 4 Excellence -MN, Deputy Director of Campaigns
Education Justice Committee Member, Racial Justice Network

Nekima Levy Armstrong, Esq.
Executive Director, Wayfinder Foundation
Founder, Racial Justice Network

Sharita Benson
TOSA Administrator: Special Education Coordinator
MTSS Facilitator

Alex Leonard
Councillor, Henry High School

Alexis Mann
Teacher and case manager

Chauntyll Allen
Member of St. Paul Public School Board

Cherie Goudeau

Anthony Richie
CTE teacher

Adewale Adenoid
social studies teacher

Jarahia Mann
Parent and Social Work Candidate

Bryant Hernandez Cota

Maya Brown

Abequay Peake

Have Ghebregergish
Teacher, Mathematics Secondary 5-12

Satara Strong Allen
Love First, General Manager

Margaret Sullivan

Tameika Williams
Academic Progress Coordinator, Registered Teacher, M.Ed.

Brianna Wilson, M.Ed.
Teacher with a special education license

Charlnitta Ellis
Director, Check Yo’Self Health and Wellness Center, High School for the Recording Arts

Briana Peera
Parent and Educator, Recording Arts High School

Halina Gill
School Social Worker, Recording Arts High School

Willie Adams
Educator, Recording Arts High School

Ionie Hamer
English Facilitator, High School for the Recording Arts

Daniel Lee
Parent, Educational Advisor

Raphael Williams
HSRA, kitchen manager/educator

Johnny Howard, Jr.

Tonya Lewis Frost
Student Support, Recording Arts High School

Rajine Williams
Advisor – Graduate School of Recording Arts

Matthew Lennon
Special Education Teacher, Recording Arts High School

Matthew Brown
Director of Operations – High School of Recording Arts

Daryl Young
Certified Special Education Teacher, Recording Arts High School

Kimberly Colbert
ELA Teacher, St. Paul Central High School

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