ACLU asks Michigan Department of Civil Rights to step in after racist incidents reported at Brighton schools

ACLU of Michigan says incidents are not isolated

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BRIGHTON, Mich. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) is asking the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) to intervene in a “potentially racially hostile education environment” in Brighton schools.

On Tuesday, the ACLU sent a letter to the MDCR asking for them to take action in Brighton Area Schools. The letter comes after photos of a Brighton High School senior in blackface surfaced online.

One photo showed the white teenager in a car with black paint on his face and another showed him holding up the “Black Power sign.” A third photo showed him with red paint on his face and a homophobic slur written on him.

Read: Brighton school officials speak out after student’s racially insensitive photos go viral

The ACLU’s letter also detailed an incident from 2018 when the ACLU filed a complaint with the MDCR. According to the ACLU, a Hawkins Elementary School second grade teacher put a hat with artificial dreadlocks on the only Black child in the classroom. The ACLU said the classmates laughed at the child and took photos of him that they later shared.

The ACLU said there is “more that can and should be done in Brighton’s classrooms to ensure that students value any cross-racial experiences they might have.” The ACLU provided some steps in the letter that it encourages school administrators to consider.

Read: More local news coverage

View the letter below:


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Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.