State Superintendent says schools must be 'safe havens'

COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK
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Michigan Department of Education State Superintendent Brian Whiston released a statement yesterday, and it's a sensible one. In light of several reports of bullying and harassment at schools since the last week's election, including one that took place in Royal Oak, Whiston declared:

Since the U.S. Presidential election last week, there have been a number of reported incidents in Michigan schools of students harassing, bullying, intimidating, and using hateful speech toward other students.

I realize that certainly at the national level over the past year, we saw the debate go to a new low, and that is impacting the actions, demeanor, and mood in some of our schools.

Our schools must be safe havens for our children – free from hate; free from intimidation; free from bullying; and free from fear.

We need to cultivate and develop in our students a steadfast respect for all others, inclusive of race, religion, orientation, or social-economic standing. We must not let political rhetoric and actions diminish the positive learning environments we’ve worked so hard to nourish.

I ask that educators at all levels, from principals to teachers to parents, help their students understand that bullying and intimidation – in word and action – is unacceptable and will have consequences.

About The Author

Michael Jackman

Born in 1969 at Mount Carmel hospital in Detroit, Jackman grew up just 100 yards from the Detroit city line in east Dearborn. Jackman has attended New York University, the School of Visual Arts, Northwestern University and Wayne State University, though he never got a degree. He has worked as a bar back, busboy,...
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