Michigan School Board Reverses Support for Black Lives Matter Movement After Pushback
The Mona Shores, Michigan, school board has rescinded its support for the Black Lives Matter movement after a resolution backing it drew the ire of many in the community.
“The intent of the [Black Lives Matter] resolution was to unify, and it was becoming divisive instead,” Superintendent Bill O’Brien told MLive Tuesday after recommending the resolution be suspended. “This is not, and must not, be an issue of politics. It is an issue of human rights, including equality, inclusion, acceptance, and equity.”
O’Brien said the school district will form a committee to prepare recommendations concerning race and inclusiveness that the “entire community can get behind,” the MLive report said.
As Breitbart News reported, in June the Mona Shores Public Schools Board of Education, of Norton Shores, voted to approve the resolution that states its community is “a primarily white school district” that “occurred as a result of endemic racist housing policies, restrictive covenants, and intentional urban planning that prevented people of color from even entering white spaces.”
The resolution also stated the board’s resolution is “in response to … a nationwide movement” that “has arisen to assert that Black Lives Matter.”
“Mona Shores Public Schools seeks to address institutionalized racism in our schools and community,” the resolution continued, adding that “the killing of unarmed Black men and women has left young people searching for answers to incredibly complicated and infuriating questions.”
According to the resolution the school board approved, the district is committed “to the emotional and physical safety of Black students”:
[O]ur schools and classrooms must be safe spaces for dialogue and support on the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement … challenging all of our students and colleagues to recognize the innate value of Black lives will help all of our students grow because all lives cannot matter until Black lives do.
Norton Shores Mayor Gary Nelund, however, said in a statement to Breitbart News in July he disagreed with the resolution’s statement that the Mona Shores school district is primarily white due to “racist” policies:
My city participates in numerous State and Federal housing programs and in my 10 years as Mayor, we have not received any sort of correspondence about discriminatory policies, covenants or planning documents. Our City Manager has worked for the City for 25 years and he cannot recall any such correspondence in his time at the City. I agree that such discriminatory policies have existed in other parts of the country but I do not see them in Norton Shores.
“BLM is a political organization,” Norton Shores resident Michael Poland told MLive when the resolution was announced. “I feel it is wrong to bring such politics into the board. I agree that schools should practice equality, and that Mona Shores should be committed to the emotional and physical safety of all students.”
The resolution also vowed the district would continue the social justice trend of using “restorative justice practices district-wide” that typically ban suspension as a disciplinary method for misconduct by black and other minority students.
In September 2019, when California banned suspensions for black students, and instituted, instead, restorative justice practices, Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and chair of the board of directors of the Center for New Black Leadership, told Breitbart News the outcome of such policies is “depressingly predictable”:
Just as we’ve seen in every other school district that has reduced or banned student suspensions and expulsions in order to eliminate racial disparities in school discipline, violence and chaos in those schools will increase – substantially. The victims of such violence and chaos will be other minority students whose learning environment will be disrupted by the presence of students who should’ve been disciplined.
O’Brien said the board’s goals of supporting black families and creating unity in the school district have been “hijacked,” reported MLive.
“I am embarrassed that our Black and brown families have yet another effort to support them misappropriated,” he said. “That the resolution meant to bring an opportunity to enlighten and unify the district has seemingly been bent to a personal agenda; that deliberate efforts have been made to make this a matter of politics, calling for the use of Board meetings to foster political divisiveness on both sides.”
According to the report, Trustee Wesley Wilson authored the resolution and disagreed with the decision to suspend it.
“No matter what happens I still believe that Black lives matter,” he said. “I will never be ashamed of fighting for equality.”
Wilson was reportedly asked to resign from the board after being charged with a felony for larceny by false pretense in 2018. He later pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor larceny, but did not notify the board of the charges against him. He refused to comply with the board’s resignation request.
On Monday, the board petitioned Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) office for Wilson’s removal from office.