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U. Michigan-area school lawsuit: white administrators subjected to ‘hostility and harassment’

The former principal of a University of Michigan-area elementary school has filed a “reverse discrimination” lawsuit alleging that white administrators were subjected to “hostility and harassment” due to their race.

Shannon Blick’s suit against the Ann Arbor Public School District also alleges black administrators’ promotions and advancements were “accelerated” to the “detriment of white administrators,” and that the district did not adequately investigate (reverse) discrimination complaints.

According to The Michigan Daily, Blick, formerly head of Lawton Elementary School, claims she had an “exemplary employment record” and “highly effective” evaluation ratings. Blick says her harassment began in April after being tipped off that the head of human resources was investigating her over an embezzlement matter involving a school janitor.

In addition, Ann Arbor Director of Elementary Education Dawn Linden allegedly told Blick that if she didn’t dissuade parents who supported her from showing up at a board meeting, “outrageous, humiliating, inhumane and patently false accusations” from her personnel file would be FOIA’d by an MLive.com reporter.

Michigan Daily editor Samantha Small, who consistently uses quotation marks around the term “reverse discrimination” in her article, thought it prudent to seek the opinions of two obviously progressive UM students who are not affiliated with the case.

One of them, UM alum Hoai An Pham, is a Planned Parenthood and climate change activist who’s also lobbied on behalf of UM lecturers. Pham says a claim of reverse discrimination is white supremacy, and “shows a complete misunderstanding of what racism is”:

As many Black activists and scholars have outlined, racism implies power […] In the white supremacist society that we live in, white people benefit from and uphold their own privileges from the oppression of non-white people. Similarly, non-Black people of color benefit from and uphold our own privileges from the oppression of Black people. We cannot separate racism from the power dynamics that exist, because we have a society that was built from combining those two things, among others. This means that it’s impossible for reverse racism to exist, because the power structure only goes one way: down.

UM junior Thomas Vance backed up Pham’s assertion, noting “racism needs power to operate, which comes from exclusionary decisions at an executive level and insituations [sic] of power.”

Reverse racism would require minorities to systematically discriminate on the basis of race […] Whether or not AAPS is guilty of racial discrimination does not make this an act of institutional racism. One instance of racial bias does not create an unequal, two-tiered system between Blacks and whites. If the district fires Blick because of her race, that does not solidify a racial hierarchy in AAPS, Ann Arbor, the State of Michigan, or the United States.

Lawton ES parents know little of what’s been happening. One parent said the only communication has been a pair of emails, one of which informed the school community that Blick was put on leave.

The College Fix emailed Small to inquire why the opinions of Pham and Vance were solicited. No reply was received before publication.

Read the article.

MORE: Legal brief asks Supreme Court to end reverse discrimination

MORE: Court reinstates reverse discrimination case against Columbia

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.