State Civil Rights Chief: Grosse Pointe Should Reconsider School Closings

Detroit Today has Agustin Arbulu, Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, and Gary Niehaus, Grosse Pointe Public Schools Superintendent, to discuss if racial equality should have played a bigger role in the closure plan.

A couple of months ago, Detroit Today highlighted a controversy brewing in Grosse Pointe. The district in that community has been working on a plan to close schools after years of declining enrollment. Officials with Grosse Pointe Public Schools recommend closing either Poupard or Mason elementary schools on the north side of the district, and Maire or Trombly elementary schools on the south side.

Many community members are unhappy with the process because they say it hasn’t been transparent and ignores racial considerations. And now, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is backing up those claims. It released recommendations this week saying the school board should start over.

On Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson, we dig into the controversy and where Grosse Pointe goes from here.  

Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Agustin Arbulu is Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. “We are committed to helping [Gross Pointe Schools] implement an equity plan” to combat unintentional biases with school transfers, Arbulu says.









Gary Niehaus

Gary Niehaus is Grosse Pointe Public Schools Superintendent. He says the district is working hard to increase the diversity in its school system.


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