Minneapolis middle school teacher accused of soliciting minor

  • Article by: MATT MCKINNEY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 28, 2014 - 9:28 PM

School Distric says the employee is now on leave.

A seventh-grade Minneapolis social studies teacher was arrested Tuesday in St. Paul for allegedly soliciting a minor.

Joel D. Fowler, 23, of St. Louis Park, was picked up by St. Paul police officers at 1:30 p.m. after an incident near the intersection of Chippewa Avenue and W. Wyoming Street in St. Paul. The spot is on the edge of Cherokee Heights Park.

Police spokesman Howie Padilla said the arrest came about after some form of online contact between Fowler and police officers, but wouldn’t clarify exactly what happened. Padilla said more details will be available once criminal charges are filed in Ramsey County District Court.

“This was part of our ongoing efforts to curb this kind of activity,” Padilla said.

Fowler is listed as a social studies teacher for Olson Middle School, 1607 51st Av. N., Minneapolis. He earned his teaching license one year ago.

Fowler could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Minneapolis School District spokesman Stan Alleyne issued this statement shortly after being told of the arrest: “Minneapolis public schools is deeply concerned regarding the arrest of an Olson Middle School employee. The employee has been placed on administrative leave pending his termination from the school district. Police have indicated that the employee’s arrest is not linked to any students and did not take place on MPS property. We are working with the school to communicate with families.”

 

Matt McKinney • 612-217-1747

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