- Ann Arbor Public Schools
- Superintendent's Messages
August 7, 2023 - Response Regarding Carpenter Bus Incident
We are all extremely concerned by the reporting of the Carpenter bus incident, and we are deeply sorry for the harm caused to the student and family.
We absolutely understand how concerning the reporting of this incident is for parents, for our staff and for all of us in the AAPS community.
It is important to clarify that the details, such as the timeline for school/district response and other information reported, are those alleged in the initial reporting on this situation. It is important also to know that through discovery and the rules of procedure and evidence in any legal proceedings, verified information will be confirmed.
The response to the incident and the follow-up process to support the student and the family will be accounted for step by step, and the facts will be confirmed; at this time, it is important not to draw conclusions about the steps of the school/district follow up or timeline based on initial reports.
It is also important to note that in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, student safety remains our top priority, always, even before our critical mission of teaching and learning. Our teams across the district work diligently each day to ensure our students are safe, particularly in the work to support our most vulnerable students.
For example, we are meticulous in completing:
- thorough, in-depth criminal background checks prior to hiring every employee (including contractors who work in our buildings), as is required by law, and additional checks for volunteers in our schools,
- thorough training for employees in safety protocols for the students they serve and
- in situations where a violation emerges, as soon as we become aware, we respond immediately and follow our process to address these situations and to protect student safety.
When a violation is reported to be serious, e.g., causing harm to a student, the employee is removed from duty immediately when we learn of the incident.
According to employment law, a due process investigation is conducted, yet removal from duty occurs right away once we are notified, pending the outcome of the investigation.
When offenses occur that are harmful to students, we notify the parent, report to CPS, terminate employment, and take any other appropriate steps, depending on the details of the situation.
Our AAPS team follows careful processes to live our core value of student safety first in daily practice, policy and requirements in the AAPS. When a situation such as the initial reporting of the Carpenter bus incident occurs, we will diligently work through the appropriate processes to verify the facts and address the situation to ensure the continued safety of our students.
Jeanice K. Swift
Superintendent of Schools
Ann Arbor Public Schools