- Ann Arbor Public Schools
- Superintendent's Messages
June 2, 2023 - Superintendent's Update
Dear AAPS students, staff and community,
In the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we stand strong against all acts of bias, bigotry and racism.
Sadly, as acts of antisemitism continue to rise throughout our country, we are heartbroken to learn of recent antisemitic incidents within our own schools.
Antisemitism is not just a threat to an individual or to the Jewish community - accepted hate, in any form, is a vital threat to our community and our society.
In the AAPS, we are committed to nurturing anti-racist educational learning environments where each and every child, staff member, parent and family are respected and valued for who they are regardless of race or ethnicity, skin color, gender, sexual identity or orientation, ability or disability or any other category.
We take very seriously any and all concerns shared regarding marginalizing attitudes or behavior that exist anywhere in our AAPS organization, and we will continue to ensure consistent and thorough processes for receiving, investigating and addressing these concerns.
We recognize that reporting requires courage and that it is critically important that students, staff and community members have a safe place to openly share their concerns and experiences. We encourage those with concerns to report them directly to their building principal or another trusted adult at school.
It is also important to note that we are an organization whose critical mission is teaching and learning, so alongside the investigative and disciplinary steps we take in addressing these situations, we are also fundamentally committed that the students involved, including those who witness such incidents, experience the opportunity to recognize the harm caused and learn from their experiences. Our teachers, school teams and leaders are working diligently on this effort every day.
In the AAPS, we will continue to support all students, staff and families to learn through these uncomfortable and painful processes and to move forward together.
As we near the end of this school year and prepare for summer, I am asking - across our families and classrooms, school, church and community groups - that we join together in this work to stand strong against racism and bigotry, to ensure a warm, welcoming and bias-free community. While Ann Arbor models itself as an inclusive community, hate can creep in anywhere and at any time. We must actively work together to further productive conversation and press back against racist and marginalizing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
You can learn more at standuptojewishhate.org about a national campaign designed to raise awareness about antisemitism and hatred against Jews and the effort to stand up against intolerance of any kind.
We are a stronger school community as we honor, embrace and celebrate our diversity, continually create a culture of belonging for all and value the connections that unite us as an inclusive Ann Arbor community.
Jeanice Kerr Swift
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools