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Developing: Minneapolis School Board Candidate asked to withdraw from election amid abuse claims

Education advocates from the Racial Justice Network want KerryJo Felder to withdraw from the Minneapolis school Board race immediately and for the Minnesota DFL and Minneapolis Teacher Federation (MFT) 59 to withdraw their endorsement of Felder.

Last week, Felder’s husband’s ex-wife, Vann Daley, posted on Facebook that Felder’s substance abuse has put her children in danger. According to Daly's post, Felder is the stepmother to Daly's two children who attend Minneapolis Public Schools.

In a press release, Nekima Levy Armstrong, civil rights attorney and activist said "Minneapolis students deserve better than the type of leadership that props up an unfit candidate for office and then refuses to address the harm the candidate has caused to vulnerable children and their families.”

Education activist Nafeesah Muhammad said, “I know the pressures of being a Black woman activist and what it can do our well-being. Institutional racism does not care about our preservation, so we must. I believe KerryJo wants what’s best for MPS, and I hope she also sees that MPS children will only get the best when we are at our best, not ignoring our personal or professional pains. I am asking her as a colleague and concerned parent to step down from the race and take care of herself.”

The abuse allegations were published last week by Southwest Voices which included an acknowledgement by Felder of substance abuse issues and the validity of the concerns that were raised about her behavior.

KerryJo Felder emailed Southwest Voices this statement Friday morning: "Recently my bonus-children’s biological mother made a post on social media expressing valid concerns about my behavior this past weekend on an out-of-state trip. I want everyone to know that I am taking this situation very seriously and working to repair harm however I can with everyone involved. I have already consulted with my doctor about a potential substance abuse issue related to Severe Osteoarthritis throughout my whole body and my use of emergency prescription painkillers I had weaned myself off of earlier this year. I intend to start an intense counseling program with a new mental health professional whose qualifications cover all aspects of this situation. This is a very stressful time for my whole family. Due to the situation and extended flare-up, I have taken this week off to support my husband. My family and I would like to ask for privacy as we work through this situation. Thank you."

This is a developing story.

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