Bloomfield Hills high school walkout protests racist incidents and response

November 12, 2021, 5:05 PM

Friday afternoon's demonstration outside the high school on Andover Road. (Photo: WXYZ screenshot)

Several hundred Bloomfield Hills High students walked out of school Friday afternoon because they feel administrators haven't responded adequately to recent racist incidents. About a dozen parents joined the protest outside the building.

Principal Charlie Hollerith this week posted two letters to students and parents about "a racist social media post by one of our students" and "racist hate speech ... written on the wall of one of our restrooms." 

The administrator asked parents to "join us in this shared responsibility to denounce any acts of hate and bias, and the impact that these harmful acts have on our community. We will not tolerate hate and bias in our schools and any reports or concerns of hate will be taken seriously and addressed quickly."

According to WDIV, teens at the suburban school "said those accused of making the racist comments are only being suspended for two days."

Students told Local 4 that there have been incidents of anti-LGBTQ+ hate speech in addition to the racist comments. 

Students hold signs during Friday's 1:30 p.m. walkout. (Photo:Twitter/Grant Hermes)

Superientendent Patrick Watson says in a statement: "We recognize that we need help from our community and that there is significant work to do." At the high school next Tuesday, the district will host a 6 p.m. "Community Collaboration Event" to move anti-racism work forward."

The statement, posted by WDIV and WXYZ, adds:

This event will begin with an hour of community conversation and brainstorming, facilitated by an external partner. Following this initial session, we welcome small groups to form to further discuss ideas. ...

We invite all of our district partners to join us, including students, parents, law enforcement, community members, media, clergy and religious leaders, and local and state officials. If we are going to see changes in our community, and across our state and country, we need all of us to come together to work toward a common goal.

The Oakland district has an online form for confidential reports on hate and bias incidents.

► First letter Monday from principal

► Second letter Wednesday from principal and superintendent

Read more:  WDIV

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