Parents address school board after racist messages continue at Bloomfield Hills high

Posted at 11:35 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 23:35:38-05

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Parents asked for immediate change during a school board meeting Thursday night after several racist incidents at Bloomfield High School.

They say they want less talking and more action for the safety of their children.

“This district is full of danger right now and what have you done about it?” one parents asked during the meeting.

“I can’t believe that there were direct threats made against Black people at the high school to ‘Kill all n******’ and you guys did nothing about it,” another parent said.

Parents say they are fed up with the board's response to hate crimes taking place at Bloomfield Hills High School.

“There is no concern for the safety of Black children at Bloomfield Hills High School,” a parents said.

Last Friday, students walked out of school to protest after a series of recent racists events including racial slur and graffiti found on the bathroom wall.

This week on Wednesday, more racist graffiti was found in the same bathroom as the previous incident, but this time on the toilet paper dispenser.

The school says the police department is investigating the incident.

Whether it’s holding up signs or drafting policies, students at the high school have been pushing for change.

Bloomfield Hills High School's Student Equity Council presented a “Hate Incident Procedures” report to the board to help address some hate crimes taking place in the district.

"We make sure that we provide healing spaces and community spaces. We make sure we provide the emotional psychological support that comes with that," said Akita Kotian, senior and director of the Student Equity Council.

Though parents are proud of their children for taking a stand, they said students shouldn’t be the ones fighting for change.

Bloomfield Hills parent Trek Carethers says it’s unfortunate that students are doing the job of the elected officials and school administrators.

"We need them to put in effective policies. I personally looked at the students code of conduct — it's inadequate," a parents said.

Jennifer Matlow, the acting board president, took responsibility on behalf of the board.

“We have not fought hard enough and for that, we apologize,” Matlow said.

Parents say this isn’t just about Black students but all children in marginalized communities.

“White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, gay, straight, trans, whatever they identify as,” one parents said.

Superintendent Patrick Watson says he will be conducting upcoming study sessions, but right now, there are several immediate measures in place to keep students safe.

“Police are conducting daily threat assessments of the high school… additional police are on site of Bloomfield Hills High School, the Bloomfield Township Police Department has consulted with the FBI,” Watson said.

The superintendent says on Friday, he will be hosting an assembly addressing the student body, letting them know that racism will not be tolerated. He said he also plans to have this conversation with other high school administrators.