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Plymouth-Canton schools responds to new racist incident, highlight changes

Posted at 11:29 PM, Apr 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 23:29:18-04

PLYMOUTH, Mich. (WXYZ) — One week after a student-led walkout at Plymouth-Canton Educational Park, the district released information about another racist incident involving insensitive posters placed around school.

On Friday, the district revealed that three posters containing hate speech were found within the P-CEP campus, marking another racist incident in recent weeks.

On April 15, hundreds of students spilled into the parking lot of Plymouth-Canton Educational Park during a walkout, expressing outrage over a video shared among students that showed another student threaten Black people, using violent and racist language.

In the days since, the Black Student Union that organized the walkout says progress with administration is being made.

“The biggest part of the walkout is to create some sort of noise so that people hear you," said Andy Gusway, vice president of the Black Student Union. "It does seem like that worked.”

The group has met with administrators and staff to make changes within the school.

“We've been making, hopefully, a lot of new changes for the best at P-CEP,” Gusway said.

“I was so horrified and angry and fed up,” parent Jessica Dorado said after seeing the video earlier this month.

She then asked her daughter about it.

”For her, it was insignificant. It was one more thing that she sees and hears daily, and that just broke my heart,” Dorado said.

As parents of Black students at the school, Dorado and LaTonya Millben say there’s still much work to be done. They attended a community meeting last week and Dorado started an online petition demanding quick action from the district.

“We are hoping not just to bring attention, but to also make sure what is our next plan of action, how do we make a change,” Millben said.

The Black Student Union says changes have been happening already, including a new online reporting system for acts of hate with fliers featuring a QR code going up around school in the coming days.

However, the school board along with students and parents say there’s still work to do to make sure all schools are free from hate and bias.

“The hope is it will be an opportunity for us to have a conversation ans open that can of worms,” said Jacob Jackson, president of the Black Student Union.

“I've seen just in the last week an improvement in transparency and communication and ensuring that parents understand what is happening as much as they can disclose,” Dorado said. “We're approaching the end of the school year and I didn't want this just to get quiet and wait until next year. I think it’s really important we act on this now.”

The school district says the students in the most recent incident have been identified and the incident is being addressed. The district did not elaborate on specific punishment.

Some parents are holding a "Call to Action" meeting with the NAACP Wednesday at the Village Arts Factory in Canton from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The district is also hosting a community forum on hate and bias May 11 at 6 p.m. at Discovery Middle School in Canton.