By Detroit FW Staff
A town hall meeting was held in the Midtown District of Detroit on Thurs. Nov. 14, 2019 to discuss the public school’s right to literacy case (Gary B., et. al. v. Gretchen Whitmer) now before the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.
The meeting was hosted by Michigan State Representative Isaac Robinson who represents Detroit and Hamtramck in Lansing. Several leading education, labor and community activists such as Helen Moore, Victor Gibson and Theo Broughton attended and made presentations. The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) was also represented by Sherisse Butler of its Government Relations office.
Note:The Plaintiffs in this class action filed on behalf of all students in Detroit are: Jessie K, an African American 9 year old third grade student at Hamilton, charter school in Detroit; Christopher R, Isaias R and Esmerelda V, Latinx 9th, 7th and 8th grade students, who all attended Experiencia, a Detroit Public School; Paul M, an African American 18 year old senior at the Detroit Public Schools Osborn High School; Gary B, an African American 18 year old senior at Osborn; and Jaimie R, an African American 17 year old eleventh grade student at Cody HS, a DPS school. (all descriptions are of the Plaintiffs’ status at the time of the filing of the case). In their complaint, the Plaintiffs cited a litany of horrors facing students in the City of Detroit that effectively amount to a denial of the right to access to literacy and equal protection under the law.
Several members of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition traveled to Cincinnati on Oct. 24 for the oral arguments on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who is attempting to quash the students’ legal claims, one of the most significant civil rights cases involving educational guarantees in decades.
The implications for the outcome of this case will rival Brown v. Topeka of 1954.