Bloomfield Hills parents want to protect their kids from racists

A group of parents from Bloomfield Hills High School have come together to accelerate a kind of peaceful and effective resolution that would calm the racial discord that is disrupting the learning environment for their children.

About 30 collaborated on a six-page memo that parent and lawyer Trek Carethers presented at a community event on Nov. 16 intended to strengthen collaboration to advance anti-racism work.

They are also considering federal legal action and formal complaints to state and federal education agencies so that the district is forced to implement policies that would protect their children.

Cedrick McCarrall and Carmen Davidson-McCarrall filed their $ 150 million federal class action lawsuit against the district, superintendent and high school principal – on behalf of their daughter – on November 18.

For now, they worry their children will seek an education in Bloomfield Hills – a city they believe could become the next Columbine, Colorado, or Parkland, Florida, which has lost children in massacres at the school – if school administrators don’t get more serious about tackling racism.

The caregiver memo offers more effective solutions that include automatic investigation of racial threats, shorter time allotted for investigations, increased training and education for teachers and students, and specific information on threats, including including the target group, the details built into the threat, the time and date of the threat, and the school’s response.

“Again, if someone targets and says that an entire group of people should be dead and killed, even though that particular person has no intention of doing so, they could potentially influence other people. to do so, ”Carethers said. “We don’t want a school shooting. We never want to get to this situation. This is your chance, District, to deal with the problem. “

Hundreds of students staged a walkout on November 12 because they were unhappy with the district’s handling of racist incidents, including graffiti in bathrooms ordering “kill all (n-words)”.

Young protesters braved the cold to denounce behavior they saw as racist and school officials who failed to properly punish or question harassers tainting their school experience.

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Parents are upset because district reports did not have details of recent racist incidents and they were unaware until the gravity of the environment for their children walked out.

“We are supposed to be able to go to work every day and feel peace and comfort and not worry if there is a threat in our schools with our children there,” said Derek Albert, a high school parent. “They don’t do anything to eliminate the fears we have.

“Our community is at stake. The value of our property is at stake. All things that revolve around the school have an impact on what happens in our community. It’s a shame that in 2021 we are facing racial issues caused by children. Where did they learn this from?

School officials apologized at a community collaboration event on November 16 intended to advance anti-racism work. The next day, Superintendent Patrick Watson again apologized in an update sent to the high school community.

He said the purpose of the community event was “to apologize to members of our community who have been injured, to allow many voices in our community to be heard and to gather ideas from our stakeholders.”

Watson invited community members to complete a questionnaire that asks participants how the high school unrest affected them and what should be done.

He promised an update by the winter break and, in the meantime, said district officials are working with student groups, reviewing questionnaires and formulating an action plan with leaders. of the district.

Bloomfield Township Police also investigated the incidents and patrolled the school more intensively.

Albert said he enjoyed the hardship experiences the students shared at the community event the most. He mentioned a child who said he leaves his house in the morning, encounters social issues and cannot escape them upon entering high school.

“They are the future of this nation,” he said. “If they learn to deal with hate and not civics and math and science and things that will help this world, we’re in trouble. “

He envisioned federal legal action and pushing for new trustees and board members as avenues to safer schools.

“If they don’t do anything to reassure us that they’re going to get rid of these students who express hate and literally commit hate crimes, then there is a problem,” Albert said. “It’s a question of protecting children. (But) we don’t need the money to go to lawyers when we can fix this on our own. “

According to Michigan school data, the student body at Bloomfield Hills High School is at least 70% white. Black students are the largest minority group, making up about 10% of the student body.

Bloomfield Hills High School

Contact reporter Susan Vela at or 248-303-8432. Follow her on Twitter @susanvela.

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