St. Paul man not allowed on school property in Dist. 11

A St. Paul man has been issued a no trespass order by the Anoka-Hennepin School District.

Richard Heller will be prohibited from entering school property for the remainder of the school year unless given permission by the superintendent. This applies to all school grounds and school buses, according to Mary Olson, communications director for the district.

He will be allowed to continue attending school board meetings.

Concerns arose last week when Heller walked into Bridges, a special education center in Andover, Tuesday and asked to see a floor plan for the Crossroads West Alternative High School in Champlin, Olson said.

Shortly after an alert message was sent to staff, she said after looking at a picture of the man, he was identified by staff as Heller, who regularly attends Anoka-Hennepin’s School Board meetings.

Last week a man matching his description had also been reportedly watching children on the playground at Crooked Lake Elementary School in Andover. When approached, he left on a bicycle, according to the alert Olson sent to district staff.

A man with a similar description was also seen observing children at Sunshine Park, near Andover Elementary School.

“We don’t have any pictures of that, so we can’t be absolutely sure it was him,” said Olson. “But the descriptions are very similar.”

The man was described as a gray-haired white male in his early 50s, 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing 250 pounds. He was seen wearing torn jeans and a plaid shirt, and appeared somewhat dusty, according to Olson.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com

  • melissa thompson

    This man has come to dozens of school board meetings, with one purpose in mind. Advocating for the needs of special need students, a subject that appears very near and dear to his heart. He has never been anything but respectful, every comment almost a carbon copy of the last, despite clearly being ignored by the school board. His resolve is admirable. He raises very valid questions about the responsibility of the school district to assess and meet the needs of special needs students, and indicates there is reason for concern.
    In speaking with friends who have special needs children many if not all agree, there is a huge disconnect between the administration and the community with regard to following IEP’s, communication between teachers, paras and parents, addressing bullying, and accessibility is huge for many. And they are frustrated that the district would spend an enormous amount of money renovating the Sandburg building, where NO STUDENTS attend, making it handicap accessible while we have building where students do attend that are not. $6 million dollars could have done a lot to meet the needs of special ed students, not that the department didn’t deserve new space they do…..these folks are angels and they too often are treated as “less than” in my opinion.
    While Mr. Heller went about things all wrong, by milling around and not giving advance notice, I think it demonstrates that everyone eventually gets frustrated when the system fails to do what it claims to be doing. I just felt like someone should stick up for him since he’s been sticking up for special needs kids for the 2-3 years.

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