Many of you are aware of an opinion article that appeared this weekend in the Wall Street Journal. The editorial grossly misrepresented our community and the proud people who live and work in Dearborn. I’m outraged that this type of commentary, that only fuels stereotypes and even worse hate toward Arab and Muslim Americans, was published. This type of inflammatory commentary encourages racism toward Arab and Muslim Americans. I support the freedom of the press but strongly disagree with the publishing of opinion pieces filled with harmful speech.
Our community, probably more than any other, is very often the direct target of hateful comments and actions as a result of this type of writing. Fortunately, we have not received any direct threats or comments toward our schools. I have communicated with Mayor Hammoud and appreciate his quick response to place the Dearborn Police on heightened awareness and increasing police presence in and around our city. Danielle Elzayat, District Supervisor of Health and Safety has been in direct contact with Chief Shahin to ensure that our schools are also part of the heightened awareness plan. I want to thank Ms. Elzayat for her immediate actions in coordinating efforts with the Dearborn Police. I also want to share my appreciation to Chief Shahin, our SRO’s, and all of the Dearborn Police Department for ensuring the safety of all residents.
We all have a part to play in keeping our city and our schools safe. We all need to work together, remain focused on our surroundings, report anything out of the ordinary to local law enforcement, and keep communications open and frequent. Each school website has an online SAFE BOX that is available to report any behaviors or activity that appear to be out of the ordinary. The State of Michigan offers a similar tool called OK 2 SAY. Both of these resources are available at any time.
We want our students to feel safe and at ease when they arrive at school and we all play a big part in providing them with that sense of security. It is essential that we act as role models, remain calm, refrain from panic, and assure our children that they are safe in our schools. If any of our students are struggling to navigate these stressful times, and in need of any social and emotional support, our school social workers, counselors, psychologists and others are available to help.
Our schools will continue to provide a safe learning environment for our staff and students that is centered on teaching and learning. I want to thank all of our staff members for their continuous efforts to create these safe spaces for children in our schools. I would also like to acknowledge and express my appreciation to all of our parents and community members for their continued support of our district.
It is an honor to be the superintendent of the Dearborn Public Schools and more importantly to have been able to spend my 28 year professional career in this outstanding, vibrant and culturally rich Dearborn community.
Wishing you a peaceful and productive week.
Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D., Superintendent