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#FREEREID: Controversy draws overflow crowd to school board meeting

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Photo by Paul Blume Photo by Paul Blume
Photo by Paul Blume Photo by Paul Blume
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The 17-year-old who made headlines after sending a tweet he claims was sarcastic saw a swell of support at the Elk River School District board meeting on Monday night.

The over-flow crowd made it obvious that a lot of people within the district are hurting over what happened to Reid Sagehorn, who was barred from school after he responded to an anonymous post claiming he had made out with a young gym teacher.

"I look at this situation and it does not make sense to me," Larry Simpson, a Rogers High School parent, said. "Eleven weeks is excessive."

Most of the people who packed City Hall came to listen, and fewer than a dozen speakers came forward during the open forum session -- but the focus stayed on Sagehorn. A teacher's union representative told the board the gym teacher involved has been victimized by the false allegations, and teachers say the incident brought about new challenges for educators and the community.

Yet, it's undoubtedly been the most challenging for the Sagehorn family. Lori and Curt Sagehorn sat down with Fox 9 News reporter Paul Blume for their first television interview, and they say they feel helpless even though their son is now enrolled in a neighboring school in a neighboring district.

"They're here to educate and teach our kids, not to prosecute and punish," Lori Sagehorn said. "What they've done is take our kid and everything earned over three and a half years and take it away from him."

Regardless of what happens with the punishment phase going forward, the popular senior will not graduate from Rogers High School. Nevertheless, the family says they want to ensure no one else endures what they have.

"We really don't want to see this happen to another kid in Rogers or any other community," Curt Sagehorn said. "Big injustice all the way around."

The open forum was essentially a listening session for the board, and no action was taken; however, the Sagehorns have hired attorneys.

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