Dearborn school board meeting to resume Thursday after ‘unruly’ crowd cut first meeting short

Next meeting set for 7 p.m. Thursday at Stout Middle School

Fire marshal ends Dearborn school board meeting early due to disorderly crowd

DEARBORN, Mich. – A board meeting will resume for Dearborn Public Schools at Stout Middle School on Thursday after Monday’s board meeting was suspended because of an “unruly” crowd and tight space.

Dearborn Public Schools will host a continuation of its board meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, after a fire marshal ended Monday’s meeting early. The initial meeting space was not large enough to accommodate the crowd, which had exceeded the occupancy limit of the fire code.

Meeting participants, passionate about an ongoing debate over what books should be allowed in the district’s libraries, became “unruly and refused to clear the room enough to meet the fire code,” officials said Wednesday.

The next meeting will be held in the auditorium at Stout Middle School, where officials say there will be more room for meeting participants, as well as more parking space. The auditorium will reportedly hold a maximum of 675 people.

The original plan was to reconvene at Fordson High School, but the location has changed due to scheduling conflicts of after school activities.

Officials say the meeting is expected to last several hours, and that parents should “carefully consider” bringing their children with them. Public comments alone are expected to take more than three hours.

Participants can make a public comment if they submit a blue card by 7:10 p.m. Thursday, or if they submitted a blue card at Monday’s meeting. Each speaker will have three minutes to express their opinion.

Those who are unable to attend can watch the meeting’s live stream on the district’s YouTube channel. The meeting will also be streamed live in the gymnasium and cafeteria at Stout Middle School, where overflow seating is available, should the auditorium reach maximum occupancy.

Click here to view a press release with more details about Thursday’s meeting.

The board meeting comes after the district formed a committee to review library books on shelves in their schools, as well as the criteria for allowing books to exist in school libraries. The topic of appropriate books for school-aged children has gained significant attention in Dearborn and around the country.

Dearborn Public Schools is the latest district in the state set to begin looking at books about sexual orientation and sexuality.

Parents of children at Dearborn schools can now request the district to review a book, or books, that they’re concerned about to see if they should be removed from the shelves. Shortly after the district formed its Book Reconsideration Committee, a parent brought six books to the district’s attention, requesting they be reevaluated.

Those six books include:

  • “Push” by Sapphire;
  • “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold;
  • “Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell;
  • “Red, White and Royal Blue” by Casey McQuiston;
  • “All Boys Aren’t Blue” by George M. Johnson; and
  • “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson.

Read more: Committee formed to review library books in Dearborn schools

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.