Tensions flare at Bloomfield Schools meeting over guest speaker controversy

Some students are being bullied and harassed

BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. – More fallout at Bloomfield Schools after a diversity assembly sparked a major controversy.

An emergency board meeting occurred Monday (March 20) after a guest speaker shared what the district called antisemitic rhetoric that made some students feel unsafe.

An investigation is now being launched into this incident. But even with that, some people didn’t hold back from giving the board a piece of their minds.

“Are you threatening me,” said a man. “Do you see me standing up?”

Tensions flared in an emergency meeting held at the Bloomfield Hills Board of Education before parents and community leaders could even voice their outrage, an anti-Israeli activist was allowed to present at Bloomfield Hills High School.

One parent had to be escorted out after an outburst at board members and other parents in the crowd.

“You want to listen to that dribble and that stupid letter,” the man said. “That’s bull (Expletive). You need to be fired.”

Read: Bloomfield Hills students protest after diversity assembly sparks controversy

Part of the issue was that activist Huwaida Arraf was allegedly invited to speak during an assembly as part of the schools’ diversity initiative. But it appears it’s only created problems causing widespread protests from students and even animosity in the crowd.

“I’m Jewish,” said another man. “My kids have a million Muslim friends. They go to Bloomfield Hills schools. Look around you. But you put them all in a position that they didn’t need to be in, and that’s where the problem is.”

It’s believed Arraf has given multiple presentations over the span of a day. Parents are now concerned about tension being created between Jewish and Islamic students.

Some are even being bullied and harassed as a result.

“I’ve been called a Terrorist, a Nazi, and even told to go back to my country,” said a woman. “The fact that a Christian Palestinian woman married to a Jewish man is being described as an anti-semitic Islamic radical with virtually no consequences is a disgrace to a message that me and other pro-Palestinians are trying to send.”

The board is discussing a plan for healing for Bloomfield Hills High School and says there’s no place for hate at the school.

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.