April 26, 2019 - Letter to Community High School Parents
Hello Community Parents,
In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, student safety remains the top priority, and all matters of student safety are taken very seriously. With this focus in mind, I want to reach out today about a situation concerning student safety at Community that has been shared on social media and in the public; likely you have seen this information by now. In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we take situations of this nature very seriously.
I can assure you that when a situation emerges regarding the safety of our students, members of our team follow appropriate steps, including contacting the parent/guardian of the students involved, notification of DHS, conducting a thorough investigation of the matter, and contacting AAPD in full support of a law enforcement investigation. While we are not able to speak directly to the specifics of this case as those matters are protected under Federal privacy laws, we absolutely can assure that we consistently follow this protocol and steps as appropriate in matters of student safety.
To support students and parents who may desire, we have counselors as well as members of our administrative team available today at the school throughout the school day for face-to-face conversations and support.
In addition, we will be convening a parent meeting on Tuesday, April 30, at 7:45am at Community High School. Members of our AAPS leadership team and representatives from the AAPD will be in attendance alongside AAPS counselors who will respond to questions and offer guidance on how to best address questions or concerns your student may have at this time.
In addition, if you feel you need district support for your student, please reach directly to Dean Marci or to Mr. Paul DeAngelis, Executive Director, High Schools at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While there may be media coverage, and while individuals may want to share information they have heard, all are encouraged to be responsible with how they communicate information related to this situation. The focus of our engagement with students will remain on the important priorities of supporting those who may have particular needs at any time, and, importantly, ensuring that as much as possible, teaching and learning continue for our students.
I want to assure our community that student safety remains our top priority, we are here to support our students and staff as we move forward, and we will remain in communication with Community parents.
Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Additional information regarding Title IX concerns in the AAPS:
The Ann Arbor Public Schools cannot comment on individual cases since student identities are protected under federal privacy laws. The District is in full compliance with state and federal anti-discrimination laws including Title IX. The District has implemented and complied with comprehensive Title IX Grievance Procedures which can be found at: https://www.a2schools.org/Page/9327
Staff, as mandated reporters of abuse and neglect, whenever they are made aware of an incident that may constitute a sexual assault contact parents, and file a form DHS -3200 (Report of Actual or Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect) with the Michigan Department of Human Services. As a matter of routine, DHS will forward such complaints to the applicable law enforcement agency for investigation.
Staff reports such incidents to law enforcement. Such a report is not strictly speaking mandated by Title IX, but we believe it to be a best practice.
The District will fully cooperate with any investigation should one be initiated. Typically the United States Department of Education ‘s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will contact the District if it accepts jurisdiction over a particular complaint. To date the District has not been contacted by OCR. The District is confident that the actions it has taken both as a District and in individual cases are in full compliance with applicable law.