By Brian Love
The fight to improve conditions for Michigan’s children seems to be never ending. Four weeks ago, a coalition of Detroit community and non-profit organizations launched a class action lawsuit against Michigan’s governor and the MI Dept. of Education, because “lawsuit claims state deliberately has failed to provide necessary tools to provide a good education.”
Today in the city of Flint, the ACLU has launched a federal lawsuit against the MI Dept. of Education, the Genessee Intermediate School District and Flint Community Schools. The ACLU would like to find on behalf of 15 special needs schoolchildren that they have been denied special need support that is due to them. It says that Flint water crisis has made this terrible issue worse.
The picture is pretty clear. We are talking about the cities of Detroit and Flint. Both are predominantly populated by people of color. Both of their school districts are struggling financially. Both school districts are in cities that have been under state of Michigan control. The more I write, the more I find similarities in the disparities.
This lawsuit reaffirms my thought that people in Flint as well as Detroit feel the way Fannie Lou Hamer felt years ago, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.” There are thousands of people of color in our state and they are tired of being locked out of the resources that other communities have access for their schools and cities. We all should be able to play on an even playing field. But that is not going to happen til we demand it and fight for it.
It is time to stop screaming and start talking. It is time to stop whining and start planning. And finally, it is time to stop fighting each other and work together to educate and protect our children. Governor Snyder has a responsibility to lead our state. The MI Dept. of Education has a responsibility to educate our children. It seems to me that this lawsuit is holding people accountable for their job and their responsibilities. This lawsuit is an accountability barometer. Let’s see how it goes. And the ACLU is taking the temperature…..we all should do so!
Please read John Wisely’s Free Press article: http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/flint-water-crisis/2016/10/18/aclu-sues-behalf-flint-school-children/92350272/