Edina High School seniors showing up for school Friday found 3,000 paper cranes placed throughout the building with messages like “You are Special” and “You Are Loved.”

A senior who wishes to remain anonymous made the cranes in a show of support for the Class of 2014. Principal Bruce Locklear said the student hoped to create a legacy so that seniors leave high school knowing that they are appreciated.

“I wanted to do this at EHS because Edina is always associated with everyone being a rich kid and not caring about others,” the student wrote on Twitter. “I knew that if even one person that received a crane was positively influenced, that it all would be worth it.”

The student, who goes by the Twitter handle @theprojectcrane, placed 500 paper cranes at the Mall of America in January.

Kim McGuire


Book using ‘retarded’ to stay in school libraries

A committee of parents, teachers and school district representatives voted 10-0 this week to keep “Sixth Grade Can Really Kill You” by Barthe DeClements in libraries in the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district.

A parent had challenged the book for its use of the word “retarded” to describe the main character, a student with a learning disability. The parent, Jenna Boutain, also teaches special education at Falcon Ridge Middle School.

Use of “the r word” has become a national issue. A campaign sponsored by the Special Olympics to stop saying it has attracted nearly half a million pledges, according to www.r-word.org.

Lauri Torseth, the media specialist on the committee, testified in favor of keeping the book. The National Coalition Against Censorship’s “Kids’ Right to Read Project” also wrote a letter urging the district to keep it.

Tony Taschner, district spokesman, said Boutain can appeal the committee’s decision.

Erin Adler


Minneapolis board gets workers comp coverage

Rest easy, Minneapolis, your school board members now have workers’ compensation coverage.

The board Tuesday approved covering itself with workers’ comp coverage, something it has lived without until now. St. Paul and Anoka-Hennepin schools don’t offer such coverage, and Minneapolis board member Josh Reimnitz conceded that accidents are unlikely. “We don’t do a lot of hard labor, at least by hand, and we don’t become involved in student behavior issues,” he said.

But he said that there’s no cost to adding the board’s nine members to the district’s self-insured pool of 5,770 workers.

Steve Brandt


Akin Road Elementary wins reading challenge

For the second year in a row, Sara Drazkowski’s fifth-graders were among the top 100 classes in the country in the Pizza Hut Book-It reading challenge.

To win, they logged more than 130,000 minutes reading.

Their literacy prowess won the entire school a pizza party on Wednesday — and on top of that, the school was selected at random among the top classes to receive a visit from Jeff Kinney, author of the bestselling “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” books.

Kinney spent the day at Akin Road Elementary, where he spoke to the whole school about his journey to becoming an author.

Erin Adler