Dr. Rob Glass, superintendent of the Bloomfield Hills Schools district, sent a letter out to parents this week in response to reports of hate speech and racial slurs at Bloomfield Hills Middle School and on a bus at Bloomfield Hills High School, condemning the language and emphasizing the district has no place for the language in any of its schools.
Shira Good, district spokesperson, would not elaborate as to details of the reports of the hate speech and racial slurs used.
“In recent weeks, we have had reports of hate speech, specifically racial slurs, used at BHMS and also on one of our buses with high school students,” Glass' letter stated. “We condemn the use of this harmful language. There is no place in our schools for hate or hate speech of any kind. It is not in line with who we are or what we teach.
“We will not tolerate words of bias and hate in our schools and any reports or concerns about the use of such words will be taken seriously and addressed immediately,” he continued, encouraging parents to speak with their children to discourage their use of words of hate or bias, as well as reminding them there are consequences to their actions, with students accountable to the disdtrict's code of conduct.
In addition, “the district may utilize restorative practices, which are processes that allow us to strengthen relationships and build respectful and safe communities. Through restorative practices, we look at misbehavior as an offense against people and relationships, not just rule breaking,” Glass explained. “Restorative practices allow all involved to see the harm that was caused and address the conflict or inappropriate behavior so that relationships and community can be repaired or restored.”
Glass further encouraged students to report any and all incidents of possible bias and hate to a trusted adult, and said that the district had recently launched a poster series at the high school and middle schools to provide an option to direct personal reporting.
“The poster encourages students to report incidents of bias and hate by capturing a QR code on the poster with a device and filling out a simple and quick form. The information reported on this form is then shared with building leadership and district administrators who can provide support.”
The shared goal of all of the efforts to condemn hate speech, Glass said, is to ensure “our schools are a safe and welcoming place for all students, staff, and community members.”