Oct. 10 meeting suspended, will reconvene Oct. 13 at Stout Middle School
By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – A contentious crowd at the Oct.10 Dearborn Public Schools board meeting prompted officials to suspend the meeting before public comment, with it reconvening 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in the auditorium of Stout Middle School, 18500 Oakwood Blvd.
Initially the district planned to hold the reconvened meeting at Fordson High School, but due to scheduling conflicts with several after school events and discussion with Dearborn police, Stout, with more parking and fewer after school activities, was determined to be a better and safer location, a DPS spokesperson said.
The school board meeting Oct. 10 opened with statements from Board President Roxanne McDonald and Supt. Glenn Maleyko, followed by a presentation by Adam Martin, executive director of student achievement and Ross Groover, K-12 executive consultant for curriculum and professional development, who explained the massive review process initiated for all school library books on the district’s library shelves.
Groover emphasized that the school district was not banning any books.
Board Trustees Hassan Berry and Adel Mozip addressed the crowd, with mixed results. At one point someone in the crowd started a chant of “vote them out.”
Berry and Trustee Patrick D’Ambrosio, who was not in attendance, are the incumbents running for re-election to the school board in November.
Trustees Irene Watts and Mary Petlichkoff also spoke, with the latter saying how disheartening it was that people were taking sides on the book review issue.
The police presence grew from the original two officers in the chamber to more than eight as the evening progressed.
An hour-and-a-half after the meeting started, and before the time set aside for public comment, it was announced that the room had too many people in it, and that the fire marshal had ordered those not in chairs to vacate the room. A spokesperson urged people to continue to listen to the live meeting outside of the room on their smart phones, which drew an angry response.
About 9:10 p.m., Police Chief Issa Shahin announced that the meeting was being suspended, and would reconvene at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 in the Fordson High School auditorium, which is larger than the school board chamber.
Shahin urged attendees to peacefully disperse, and reminded them to consider that their actions could gain widespread media attention.