Friday, November 12, 2021

Threatening graffiti, other racist incidents prompt student walkout at Bloomfield Hills High School

Posted By on Fri, Nov 12, 2021 at 12:14 PM

click to enlarge Racist graffiti scrawled on a bathroom wall in Bloomfield High School. - BLOOMFIELD HILLS HIGH SCHOOL PARENT
  • Bloomfield Hills High School parent
  • Racist graffiti scrawled on a bathroom wall in Bloomfield High School.

Students are planning to walk out of Bloomfield Hills High Schools on Friday afternoon following escalating racist incidents, including graffiti scrawled across a restroom that read, “Kill All [n-word]” and “Yeah fuck them all!!”

In a letter to parents Wednesday, the school's principal and superintendent said the administration takes the threats seriously and contacted police.

“We experienced another incident of racism at our school,” states the letter from Principal Charlie Hollerith and Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent Patrick Watson. “This behavior will not be tolerated and does not represent our mission as a school or the high standards we hold for our students and ourselves.”

Frustrated with what they say is the administration’s lax response to racist incidents, students plan to walk out of school at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

“Our school’s response to the blatantly racist and hateful discriminatory incidents in the past few weeks is utterly unacceptable,” a student wrote on social media. “The complete disregard for the safety of BHHS students is unethical. We will not let administration turn a blind eye to the hate that students are facing on a daily basis from both their peers and staff.”

Details of the past racist incidents weren’t immediately clear, and Metro Times couldn’t reach Hollerith or Watson for comment.

Students are demanding a say in punitive decisions for racist incidents, a benchmark two-week suspension for all students who use hate speech, and the immediate removal of guilty students from sports teams and extracurricular activities.

In the letter to parents, Hollerith and Watson said the school will hold grade-level meetings to address the emotional impact of hate speech, provide counseling and social work support, hold staff meetings and sensitivity training, and offer opportunities for students and the community to have a dialogue.

“While we are committed to the work of equity and inclusions, we still have significant work to do in order for all our students and staff to feel safe within our walls,” the principal and superintendent wrote. “We recognize the pain that people across our entire community are experiencing, and this letter is just the start to a process of healing. Our partnership as a school community to support one another is critical.”

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