Tag Archives: #MinnesotaUSA

Student sent home without reason, according to host-parent

While details vary from exchange student to exchange student, many students are sent home even though the host-family wishes them to stay. That can happen any time from the very beginning to the very end of the exchange. In this case, Gail Rosenblum speaks of how AFS tried to send the student home a month before graduation.

Star Tribune

By Gail Rosenblum | June 3, 2009 — 9:38pm

… Abdullah arrived in Minnesota last summer with an AFS-affiliated program called YES (Youth Exchange and Study). …

Abdullah’s stay got off to a bumpy start. He smoked cigarettes (but has since quit), and bought knives for target practice, neither of which sat well with his first host mother. …

Abdullah was removed from his first home in the fall (which happens with 25-30 percent of exchange students) and was placed briefly with Noel Evans, an Eagan attorney, before moving in with Mullaley and her family. …

Evans and Abdullah got along so well that, when Evans returned to Saudi Arabia in March, she contacted Abdullah’s mother, Seham Farah, and they became friends. Evans invited Seham to visit Minnesota as soon as she could secure a visa, …

Evans was unaware that the AFS handbook requires that parental visits be approved ahead of time. Last Friday, an AFS spokeswoman called Mullaley to tell her that Abdullah would be shipped home a month early — missing graduation. … Evans called AFS to say that Seham’s visit was her idea. Besides, as she and others noted, Abdullah … was picked as Unsung Hero for helping a teacher, volunteered with elderly neighbors, and spoke to younger students about Saudi life. He also brought up his algebra grade from an F to a B. …

Late Tuesday, an AFS spokeswoman called Mullaley with the news that Abdullah could stay through the weekend. …

Evans is now working on behalf of Abdullah’s 16-year-old sister, who has been barred from the program because of her brother’s case. …

The entire article can be read at Star Tribune

Radtke sentenced for sexual abuse

David Edwin Radtke deemed sexual predator

Pastor charged with sexual assault of exchange student
By Paul Walsh Star Tribune | May 27, 2011 — 9:00pm

A 52-year-old Lutheran minister has been charged in Sibley County with fondling a high school foreign exchange student as he massaged her while she nodded off in the family’s home.

The Rev. David E. Radtke of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Gibbon, Minn., posted bond Thursday after being jailed and charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Radtke was arrested Monday while working at a Lutheran church in Clyman, Wis., about 50 miles northeast of Madison, and was returned to Minnesota. Assistant County Attorney Don Lannoye said Radtke was not trying to flee prosecution, but was in Wisconsin on business.

“I just can’t handle this,” the student, a 16-year-old from Madrid, said in a text message to the minister’s wife, according to the charges. “What happened is not legal in any place of the world and you know what I mean!”

Radtke, his wife and their son all approached the girl at various times, acknowledged the molestation earlier this month and asked her to forgive him, the charges added.

The girl moved in with the Radtkes in August 2010, upon the departure of an exchange student from Finland, the complaint read.

According to the charges:

The girl told a sheriff’s deputy that Radtke gave her back massages once every two weeks or so between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. At times, she would fall asleep.

On May 17, as she lay on the couch, Radtke rubbed her legs until she fell asleep. She awoke to find him molesting her inside her underwear. …”

The rest of the article may be read at Star Tribune

2014-2015 Minnesota State High School League Official Handbook

Purpose: The following bylaws are intended to provide a uniform body of rules from which school administrators will certify a student’s eligibility.


A. Transfer eligibility for foreign exchange students and international students is not appealable.

B. FOREIGN EXCHANGE STUDENTS — Cross Reference: Bylaw 106 (Graduates of Secondary Schools).

Foreign exchange students shall be limited to one calendar year of high school participation commencing with their first day of attendance.  A foreign exchange student who is enrolled in and attending a Minnesota high school will be eligible to participate in varsity competition provided that the student meets all of the foreign exchange student blind placement conditions listed below.

(i) The student must be under the auspices of, and be placed with, a host family by an international student exchange program that has been approved for listing by the Council on Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) and be recognized by the U.S. Department of State.

(a) The foreign exchange program must assign students to host families by a method that ensures that no student, student’s parents, school, or other interested party may influence the assignment for athletic or other purposes (blind placement).

(b) The foreign exchange student may not be selected or placed on any basis related to their athletic interests or abilities.

(ii) A foreign exchange student is considered to be placed with a host family when written notice of placement is provided by the exchange organization to the student and the student’s parents, and to the host family.

(a) Neither the school the student attends nor any person associated with the host school shall have input into the selection of the student.

(b) No member of the school’s coaching staff, from any sport, paid or voluntary, shall serve as the host family. If a member of the school’s coaching staff does serve as the host family, then the student is only eligible for competition at the junior varsity or lower level.  (See Other International Students below)

(iii) The foreign exchange student must possess a current J-1 visa issued by the U.S. Department of State.  The foreign exchange student must comply with all League eligibility requirements. A completed Foreign Exchange Student Registration Form must be provided to the high school principal and then kept on file at the high school. The electronic transfer document must be submitted and then and approved by the League office before the student is eligible for varsity competition.

  1. Foreign Exchange Students who have completed the terminal or final grade of high school are not eligible for participation in League-sponsored athletic programs at any level.


International students shall be limited to one calendar year of high school participation commencing with their first day of attendance.  An international student who is enrolled in and attending a Minnesota high school and who is not under the auspices of and placed by a Council on the Standards for International Educational Travel (CSIET) listed exchange program is ineligible for varsity competition.  An international student will be eligible for junior varsity or lower level competition provided that the student meets all of the conditions listed below:

(i) The student must possess a current F-1 visa issued by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

(ii) The student must provide the principal of the school the student attends an official untranslated transcript, as well as a transcript that is translated into English by an acceptable agent or agency, that indicates work taken in all grades in which the student was enrolled.

(iii) The international student must pay tuition to the high school the student attends as prescribed in Section 625 of U.S. Public Law 104-208.

(iv) The international student must comply with all League eligibility requirements, and a completed International Student Registration Form must be provided to the high school principal and approved by the League office before the student is eligible for junior varsity or lower level competition.


Attempt to ‘Sue’ Child Advocate’s Mouth Shut
Court Date Scheduled for Local Child Protection Advocate 
Oceanside resident, Danielle Grijalva, will be taken to court by a student exchange placement agency for her efforts to protect foreign exchange students in Minnesota.
Grijalva formed the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students, a California-based 501 (c)(3) child protection organization five years ago.  She has since been nominated twice for the City of Oceanside Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Award; received a Certificate of Recognitionin 2008 by San Diego County Board of Supervisors for being selected to receive the Channel 10 News Leadership Award for her hard work and service to the San Diego region and is currently Ambassador of Child-Safe, Ltd., of the United Kingdom.
In June, 2009, a lawsuit was filed in San Diego County Superior CourtCouncil for Educational Travel USA v. Danielle Grijalva; Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students; Complaint for Damages; Slander Per Se; Libel; Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary and Permanent; Injunction; Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage.
In 2009, a Norwegian foreign exchange student’s complaints over living conditions he endured with a host family in Minnesota prompted a state investigation by Minnesota Deputy Secretary of State Jim Gelbmann.  Gelbmann called upon lawmakers to expand the state’s authority to oversee foreign exchange programs.
Star Tribune’s Aimee Blanchette’s story, “When a foreign exchange year goes bad” dated May 17, 2009, which explained, “Another Norwood parent began making inquiriesaboutEspen’s predicament, and that’s when the secretary of state’s office got involved. WhenGelbmann began contacting some of the 37 other Minnesota schoolswhereCETUSA has placed students, he found more reports ofproblemsencountered by students.”

On July 16, 2009 during WCCO News Radio 830 interview by Don Shelby with Minnesota Deputy Secretary Jim Gelbman discussed the importance protecting these visiting teens.
Part of the interview:
GELBMANN:  … “Sure, Don.  Probably the most common problem that happens with the CETUSA organization in multiple high schools throughout the state is that they would bring more students over to Minnesota than they had families to place them in.  And, again, that is against the federal regulations, as well.  Federal law requires the organization to have as signed contract with a host family one month before the student arrives in the States.  And what would regularly happen is CETUSA would have three or four host families signed up for a specific school and five or six students would be brought over, and then CETUSA would frantically search for host families for the students.  In one case that was documented actually WCCO TV a number of years ago, I think back in 2006 um, one CETUSA organization, uh, uh, coordinator had six students living in her basement, had six foreign exchange students living in her basement because she couldn’t find host families for them —
SHELBY:  And that is violation of law —
GELBMANN:  And that is a violation of law right then and there.”
To read entire interview:
CETUSA is allegedly blaming Danielle Grijalva, Director of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students (CSFES) for the attention given to the vital importance keeping foreign exchange students protected and safe.  “Foreign exchange students deserve a positive impression of our country.” she said.
Director Grijalva, remains firm, “Abuse by those in positions of trust will not be tolerated.”
“Do I believe this is an intimidation tactic?  Absolutely.”  said Danielle Grijalva.  She continued, “Let me emphasize that children’s safety must be first and foremost in foreign exchanges and every other aspect of education.  We want to ensure that visitors to our country enjoy a safe and enriching academic and cultural experience that builds bridges for future collaboration, be it social, educational or economic.”
Court date scheduled Friday, October 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm, San Diego Superior Court, North County Division, Dept. N27, 325 S. Melrose Drive in Vista, CA.
Trial date scheduled December 10, 2010 at 8:30 am, San Diego Superior Court, North County Division, Dept. N27,325 S. Melrose Drive in Vista, CA.