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Judge denies Yahnke’s request to attend school

By Staff | Aug 30, 2008

A request by John Andrew Yahnke, 18, to attend school was denied Aug. 25, by Faribault County District Judge Douglas Richards. Yahnke is not enrolled at a local school.

Despite being behind bars, an 18-year-old Blue Earth man wants to continue his high school education.

On Monday, John Andrew Yahnke went to court seeking release time so he could attend classes.

Faribault County District Judge Douglas Richards denied his request because he is not currently enrolled at a local school.

The judge says the matter could be re-evaluated if Yahnke finds a school to attend.

County attorney Brian Roverud says he’s talked with Blue Earth Area School District officials regarding Yahnke’s options.

“Because he’s incarcerated, attending Blue Earth Area is not an option,” says high school principal Jack Eustice, adding Yahnke was enrolled at BEA last year.

Superintendent Dale Brandsoy says he’s never encountered a situation like this before.

Both administrators admit the matter is “new grounds” for the district.

Brandsoy says court and county officials will have to be involved with any decisions that are made. He says the Department of Corrections is the ultimate agency responsible for Yahnke’s education.

“Our position is that right now we would provide home-bound education, where the district provides the instruction,” he says. “They will have to relate to us what the conditions and arrangements would be.”

Yahnke told Richards he is looking into whether he can attend classes at an alternative learning school in Fairmont. Brandsoy says Yahnke has “the right to an education” and district officials will work with authorities to determine the best option.

Eustice says if Yahnke attends a school outside the district, BEA will be responsible for paying the cost of transportation.

“We will do whatever needs to be done. We have to listen to all the options and certainly do what is best,” Eustice says.

Yahnke has been charged with a felony charge of possession of explosives with intent to make a bomb.

He has pleaded not guilty and requested a two-day jury trial, but no date has been set. He is being held on $10,000 bail.