February 27, 2017 - Statement on LGBTQ Students and Staff

Ann Arbor Public Schools
Superintendent Statement
February 27, 2017

In light of continuing national developments, this is an important time to publicly communicate and emphasize our continuing and strong support of our LGBTQ students and staff in the Ann Arbor Public Schools.

To all who may be experiencing concern at this time, please know that in the AAPS, we see you, we value you, we support you, and we stand with you.

Recent developments nationally may cause increased fear among individuals who are most vulnerable among us, yet we want to reassure everyone that in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, our practice of support remains strong. We have long led the state in our work to ensure that we welcome, embrace, support, and celebrate each of our students and staff, and nothing about our firm commitment in policy or practice is diminished in any way by recent national statements.

We appreciate the continuing work of our AAPS school teams, including administrators and classroom teachers who support all of our students, and who particularly identify and connect with those who are most vulnerable at this time. As Superintendent, I am deeply proud of the efforts of our school teams to reach out to students and to ensure that ALL children and their families feel welcome, embraced and celebrated in the Ann Arbor Public Schools on every school day. 

We remain focused in addressing real and pressing challenges with our students who may feel uncertain right now; current work involves aligning our efforts at school in tandem with families and community organizations so that we provide strategic support for all impacted AAPS students. In addition, for those who are interested, Title IX information, regarding protections and compliance is located at: https://www.a2schools.org/domain/2640.

We recognize that these are challenging days and we are committed to deepen our unity and support, at the individual, school and systems level on behalf of all in our school community.

In the AAPS, we view diversity as our strength, and we respect and value each of our students and their families. In Ann Arbor, we are privileged to work and live in a diverse school environment and we appreciate this as a gift that enriches our community. Within the AAPS, we all benefit from the richness of experience that our diversity brings to learning in terms of perspective, language, culture, as well as creative and cognitive connections within our classrooms, schools and across our Ann Arbor community. We know that a diverse learning experience within our classrooms better prepares all our children for the wider world in which they will live and work today and into the future.  

Our school teams, teachers and principals remain ready to support our students and families who are experiencing distress. In addition, we will continue to partner and coordinate with our many excellent Ann Arbor community organizations and resources to connect additional support for our students and families beyond the school setting. We encourage anyone in need of assistance to reach out to your teacher, school counselor or principal or call (734) 994-2200 and we will respond with information and support.

During this time of national rhetoric that marginalizes individuals within our community, we want everyone to know that in the Ann Arbor Public Schools, we will see, stand with, and remain #A2gether in support of all our students.  We appreciate that each of our 17,448 students brings a unique and beautiful presence to our classrooms.

We are committed to modeling and serving as an example for our students who are our greatest responsibility and our best hope. Our students are respected and valued in our classrooms for exactly who they are and we remain committed that all our students will continue to experience the safe haven of a warm, welcoming, and supportive classroom environment on each and every day at school.

For additional information, I am including a link to my Superintendent’s video message on this topic.



Dr. Swift's signature

Jeanice K. Swift

Superintendent of Schools