August 26, 2020 - Response to Racism

In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we stand strong against any and all acts of bias, bigotry and racism.

We take very seriously all concerns shared regarding racist attitudes and practices that exist anywhere in our AAPS organization, and we will ensure consistent processes for hearing and addressing concerns. These processes include fully hearing those who share concerns, consistently and thoroughly investigating complaints and ensuring we learn from situations by clarifying and implementing needed improvements.

In the Ann Arbor Public Schools Equity Plan, equity is defined as “the moral responsibility of each member of our learning community to take the intentional actions necessary to create a learning community free of barriers, biases and disproportionality for each and every person, regardless of personal characteristics and social circumstances.”

The clarifying phrases, ‘to take the intentional actions necessary’ and ‘to create a learning community free of barriers, biases and disproportionality,’ directly inform our work to serve our students, staff, parents and community each day.

The Ann Arbor Public Schools statement of non-discrimination clearly articulates:

No person shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any educational program or activity available in any school on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, creed, political belief, age, national origin, linguistic and language differences, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status, height, weight, marital or familial status, disability or veteran status.

The work to eliminate racist attitudes and practices in the AAPS, then, is both a moral obligation required of each of us individually, as well as a collective policy imperative. We will continue to work together as members of the Ann Arbor Public Schools community to ensure we are diligent in this critical work every day.

We reaffirm that concerns of racist actions or practices will be addressed within our district processes. We also understand that there exists a parallel space where, as individuals and members of this team, we must remain in conversation and support each other to ensure we are vigilant in the work for justice. We must turn within to consider the ways that bias, bigotry and racism may subsist beneath the surface in ourselves and our own work settings, on our teams, in our organization and across our Ann Arbor community.

We owe this effort to our children, to each other and to the future we want to share in our Ann Arbor Public Schools community.