As reported in The Ann Arbor News Thursday, a Ypsilanti Middle School parent is very upset about an altercation her son was involved in at the middle school, which resulted in her son being taken to the hospital. Amanda Brown stated that her son suffered a concussion after being slammed into the wall numerous times in the school’s sixth grade hallway. According to The Ann Arbor News article, Brown’s son had exchanged words with the other student just prior to the physical altercation. Brown stated also that no adults were present during the incident. The incident, which occurred May 20th, was reported to the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.
Unfortunately, it looks as if the school year at Ypsilanti Middle School is ending on the same note it started on back in September. On September 26, 2013 Purple Walrus Press was contacted by an anonymous teacher at Ypsilanti Middle School. Our anonymous source told PWP that there was much trouble at the new middle school and that teachers were essentially very concerned about the safety of students as well as staff. In a September 27, 2013 Purple Walrus Press article written after interviewing the anonymous teacher, I listed the concerns and complaints that our source shared with me. Here is the list of complaints the anonymous teacher shared at that time.
1. The Middle school is over crowded.
2. There is physical violence occurring in the school that is not being addressed by the school administration.
3. Students are sent to the office for bad behavior and then sent back to class.
4. Teacher morale is low and many are looking for other jobs. Teachers feel powerless.
5. A teacher received a concussion while breaking up a fight between students. The student came back to school the next day. After the teacher pressed, the student was suspended.
6. No discipline, no control, no consequences.
7. There is danger all the time and there is fear that, “Something bad is going to happen.”
8. Many students want the current conditions changed.
9. Some parents are withdrawing students.
10. Discipline problems have been brought up by teachers at staff meetings, but they have been brushed aside.
11. Due to over-crowding at the middle school many students were sent to the nearby high school building. The high school building has no working phones and no administrators. Teachers have to use cell phones to reach the main middle school. NOTE: Shortly after PWP published our initial article on the middle school issue last year the high building reportedly was equipped with phones.
After learning about the latest incident it is apparent that little has changed at the middle school since the beginning of the school year. How unfortunate for not only the faculty, but more importantly, for the students.
I do not want to blame the students for problems at the middle school. I’m sure that kids are no better and no worse than they ever were, no matter the location. I do think that it says a lot that one of the issues stated to PWP in September was that many students at Ypsilanti Middle School wanted conditions changed. No, I don’t think it is fair to place blame for all of the school issues on the kids. From the beginning of the Willow Run/Ypsilanti school merger last year, decisions seem to have been made in a ramshackle, and disorganized manner. From teachers being told they need to provide the administration parent/student references then only to find that references were not looked at, to over-crowding at the new middle school, there have been many missteps by the district.
In the end it is the students who suffer and that is a shame.
Editor in Chief
Purple Walrus Press