Grosse Pointe school board votes to close 2 schools despite requests to table vote

MDCR wants process restarted

By Jermont Terry - Reporter, Kayla Clarke

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. - The school board in Grosse Pointe Farms has voted on which schools will close despite requests from the public and a Michigan Department of Civil Rights official to table the vote.

Four schools were on the chopping block: Poupard Elementary School, Stevens T. Mason Elementary School, Lewis Maire Elementary School and Robert Trombly Elementary School.

The board voted just after 11 p.m. Monday to close Trombly and Poupard.

Watch the video above for the full report.

In a news release, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights officially recommended that the Grosse Pointe School Board restart the decision-making process because officials with MDCR believed the process did not take into consideration issues of racial equity.

“It is clear that the community perceives that the process for deciding the fate of their neighborhood schools lacked transparency and the effective involvement of the people most impacted by the reconfiguration,” said Agustin V. Arbulu, director of MDCR. “The process also failed to adequately take into consideration issues of racial equity and disparate impacts on children and communities of color. For these and other reasons we outline in our report, we strongly recommend that the School Board restart their deliberation with an eye to creating a more inclusive and transparent process.”

The department also shared recommendations for improving the process, according to the release. The recommendations include: Extending or restarting the period to create a more inclusive and transparent process, tightening the in-district transfer policy, developing a marketing plan, providing additional resources, and more.

“The Department commends the School Board for seeking our help to ensure they were hearing from all segments of the community,” said Arbulu. “I believe these recommendations will allow the school district to regain a measure of public trust in their decision making and result in a more equitable outcome for all the families of the Grosse Pointe School District. The Department is committed to assisting the school district as needed with implementing a number of these recommendations.”

The full MDCR report is available here.

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