Hands around the DPS admin building
By ZEINAB NAJM
DEARBORN — More than 100 Dearborn Public Schools students, parents, staff members and community leaders helped encircle the administration building Jan. 19 to show support for public education in the United States.
Dearborn was one of more than 200 cities nationwide participating in the national day of action arranged by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools and the American Federation of Teachers.
“Organizers also want to call attention to the fact schools must remain centers of learning that are protected against threats of bullying and racism,” a DPS press release said. “In addition, it is important that policymakers increase the investment in public schools and protect Title I funds, federal dollars that are critical in supporting the education of students who are most at risk of not being successful in school.”
The circle was created around the DPS Administrative Service Center, 18700 Audette, by holding hands and paper chains made by students to show their unity.
“We appreciate the support of parents and community members because they are the champions of our district,” Supt. Glenn Maleyko said. “I want to thank the students because of the all the positive things being accomplished in Dearborn.”
“It is part of the district plan to promote unity and diversity for public education,” Maleyko said while holding a sign that read ““Students first. Inspire, educate, celebrate.”
Dearborn High School sophomore Maya Lewy said she joined the superintendent’s student advisory committee to be a part of events like the day of action.
“It’s very powerful when different people come together despite their differences to untie for important issues,” Lewy said. “Education is the key to discovery, and public education is essential because there is so much more to discover.”
DPS Trustee Mary Petlichkoff said she aims to represent the community, students, parents and teachers as best as she can because she was voted to do so.
“Public education is the only system that allows any student with any ability to walk through our doors and graduate as a working member of our society,” she said.
Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. echoed a similar message as Petlichkoff.
“Charter schools are not a viable option because they are uneven,” he said. “Public education takes anyone as they show up and serve them effectively. We have a successful model that works on a broad scale for anyone that walks through the door.”
(Zeinab Najm can be reached at email@example.com.)