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June 02, 1989 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I LOCAL NEWS)

Studio In Harvard Row Mall

Groves

Continued from Page 1

IMP

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20

FRIDAY, JUNE 2, 1989

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from outsiders since last fall,
when five skinheads — two of
them then ninth-grade
students at Groves — started
a fight with black and white
students. The two students
were disciplined and transfer-
red out of the school, but
racial tensions lingered. More
racial and anti-Semitic in-
cidents followed.
"So many people have ask-
ed me if I'm scared to go to
school and it's ridiculous,"
Grant said. "I've had pennies
thrown at me. I've heard peo-
ple refer to West Bloomfield
High School as West
Jewsfield. I just ignore it."
Kogan said students must
speak out against racism.
Any comments or acts of
violence must be reported to
school authorities, she said.
Goals need to be discussed
in the classroom, said senior
Aaron Ellenbogen. "It is im-
portant to teach students
about differences. There are
valuable lessons to be
learned.
"This whole thing has been
blown out of proportion,"
Ellenbogen said. "But it is
important that the events
were aired. People must fight
back because (Holocaust) can
happen again."
Freshman Lisa Feldman
recalls feeling offended when
a non-Jewish student ap-
proached her and said she
was cool because she didn't
act like a Jew.
Stunned by the comment,
she kept quiet. She wouldn't
do that today.
"If you don't fight back and
stand up for yourself, it will
never stop," Lisa Feldman
said.
Junior Brian Feldman
disagees.
"No matter where you go,
you will face anti-Semitism,"
he said. "You shouldn't fight
back."
This month, the Anti-
Defamation League of B'nai
B'rith is hosting a two-day in-
service conference for Birm-
ingham teachers to help them
understand students cultural
differences.
The school's parent booster
organization and Principal
Robert Lentz last week
distributed a six-page memo
to all parents, describing the
incidents and offering
suggestions.
The memo explained the
November skinhead incident.
It addressed the problems in
April, when fliers bearing
vivid racist remarks were
found on two entrance doors
to Groves. Similar posters
were placed on signs and
fences near the school.
In May, several black
students found racist
statements written on their

lockers. Also in May, someone
spray painted swastikas and
white power slogans outside
the school.
School officials are aware of
harassment of black, Asian
and Jewish students. They
are not everyday occurrences.
In response, they have held
assemblies, contacted the
police department and con-
sulted with the ADL.
The memo asks parents to
discuss bigotry with their
children and suggests in-
volvement in activities to pro-
mote pluralism.
"No form of any type of
racism, sexism or discrmina-
tion at any time is now or ever
will be tolerated," the memo
warns. "We feel the incidents
are the work of two or three
individuals. We cannot allow
them to infringe on the pro-
gress we have made together."
Lentz said at least 20
students have been disciplin-
ed under the school's anti-
harassment policy, which
states that students are not
permitted to verbally or
physically harrass anyone at
the school.
"A kid has a right to go to
school here," Lentz said.
"Students need to be more
sensitive.
"We are concerned. But it is
safe here. The kids do feel
comfortable."
Meanwhile, about 300
parents and school leaders
met on Tuesday to discuss
race and anti-Semitism
problems in the area with the
Birmingham-Bloomfield Task
Force on Race Relations and
Ethnic Diversity. LI

SPACE Has
Toronto Trip

SPACE will sponsor a trip
to Toronto Feb. 2-4. The
weekend will include bus
transportation, two nights at
the Westbury Hotel, a Satur-
day morning tour of Toronto,
dinner at Ed's Warehouse,
front orchestra seats to Phan-
tom of the Opera, Sunday mor-
ning tour of the Ontario
Science Center, with taxes
and tips. The price is $246.
The trip requires a $60 non-
refundable deposit sent to
SPACE no later than June 13.
The remainder must be paid
Dec. 18.
For information, call the
SPACE office, 258-6606.
SPACE, Room to Grow, is a
non-sectarian community ser-
vice of National Council of
Jewish Women, Greater
Detroit Section, which offers
support for those men and
women who are divorced,
widowed or separated and
their families.

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