Saline holds open forum after racist comments made by students, parent

SALINE, Mich. – The mayor of Saline and two Washtenaw County Commissioners hosted an open forum at Saline’s City Hall after racist comments were made by students on social media and by a parent at a diversity and inclusion meeting.

“We’re all going to be respectful," said Mayor Brian Marl. "Hate speech, inflammatory language, threats will not be tolerated.”

Students, parents and grandparents came to share their thoughts after two back-to-back incidents of racism -- including one that received national attention.

“As a biracial student, the stuff that I hear on a daily basis is, honestly, quite disgusting and ignorant," said Dru Campbell, a junior at the high school.

The purpose of the meeting was to hear what others had to say about their experiences and listen.

“It was a frank and sometimes difficult conversation, but it was an important conversation to have,” Marl said.

Jim Tieman, whose grandson was a target of discrimination, said the discussion could make a difference in Saline.

“After we go through the pain of this, I think Saline is gonna be a better community," Tieman said.

There will be another open forum Wednesday.

About the Authors:

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.