June 8, 2023 - Superintendent's Statement

The District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan recently issued an opinion and order in the matter of Blick v Ann Arbor Public Schools et.al granting the District’s Motion for Summary Judgment.

This recent opinion brings to a close the allegations filed in a lawsuit dating to 2019, answering all of the allegations in favor of the Ann Arbor Public Schools. 

Previously, the United States District Court issued a decision in February 2021 to dismiss the following claims:

  1. Racial discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause

  2. Violation of plaintiff’s right to due process under the Fourteenth Amendment

  3. Racial discrimination in violation of the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act

  4. Civil conspiracy to violate her constitutional rights in violation of § 1983

  5. Racial discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The time to appeal the dismissal of the above claims has passed.

In a recent ruling issued on May 26, 2023, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the Ann Arbor Public Schools in each of the remaining claims with respect to First Amendment concerns:

  1. Freedom of Speech – Prior Restraint Claim

  2. Freedom of Speech – Retaliation Claim 

  3. Freedom of Association Claim

  4. Municipal Liability/Official Capacity Claims

The Court declined the District's request for attorneys’ fees and costs. 

When the District was served with this complaint, we undertook a vigorous defense, with the full support of the Board of Education, knowing that the allegations had no merit.  The AAPS held fast to our core values and kept with the policy of not commenting on pending litigation and chose to defend itself in Court.  The District follows the law and its policies which prohibit discrimination, and it respects the rights granted by the First Amendment.  The Court agreed.

It is a shame that district resources better assigned to the classroom were needed to defend such a meritless lawsuit.

We take these matters very seriously in the Ann Arbor Public Schools and will always strenuously defend the work of our AAPS team and our continuing focus to fulfill our critical mission to serve our students well. 

The untrue allegations contained in these false claims against the Ann Arbor Public Schools and the individual defendants surely caused harm for them as well as a detrimental impact to our AAPS team, and extending into our Ann Arbor community; it is our hope the rulings of the Court exonerating them provides some minimal relief. 

We are grateful for the tremendous effort of all those who worked so hard during these previous four years to defend this case. 

We respect and appreciate the rulings of the Court in this matter.


Jeanice Kerr Swift
Superintendent of Schools 
Ann Arbor Public Schools