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Saline Area Schools Continues To Host Community Conversations After Students Made Racist Comments

Feb 27, 2020

Over 100 people attended a community conversation Thursday night hosted by Saline Area Schools.  It centered around diversity, equity, and inclusion.  89.1 WEMU's Jorge Avellan was there and has the story.


Parents, students, school officials, and community members gathered at Saline Middle School to discuss racism at the district.  The event was held as part of a series of listening sessions the district is hosting after some of their students made racist comments against African-Americans on social media in January.  Parent Peggy Crawford, who is Asian, attended the meeting.

Peggy Crawford: I think it's also important to have a perspective of several minorities, not just one specific minority or two specific minorities.  I think it's important to hear from all perspectives.

Admitting that racism exists, confronting and exposing it were some of the suggestions parents made to address the race issue at the district.  District Superintendent Scot Graden says Saline Area Schools launched a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advisory committee about 14 months ago, long before the racist comments were made on social media earlier this year.  He explains what the committee's role will be after they gather feedback from the community during the listening sessions. 

Superintendent Scot Graden: We're going to put it together, we're going to make sure that we have all the voices captured, and then from that, synthesize it to determine what are the areas of focus and try to figure out a methodology to look at priorities. 

Parent Mary Kay Bloch says that while she appreciates Saline Area Schools hosting listening sessions to address racism, the community as a whole should also take action.

Mary Kay Bloch: I hope that people have compassion and empathy for each other and respect.  Kind of like a live and let live, but welcoming too.

For a schedule of other listening sessions, click here

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— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him javellan@emich.edu