'Skank Lists' Lead to Explosive Town Hall, Threats Against Students

A meeting about bullying at Fordson ended abruptly after furious parents accused school administrators of not reacting swiftly enough to derogatory letters sent to girls.

A town hall meeting about bullying at went off the rails Tuesday afternoon when parents erupted in anger at administrators.

Some parents felt the district did not act swiftly enough to identify and punish four male students to the homes of several female students earlier this month.

The typewritten letters, sent earlier this month, included allegations of sexual practices and other personal information about several seniors at Fordson. Copycat letters then spread to underclassmen, as well as at and Crestwood high schools.

Eventually, .

Tuesday's meeting began with Fordson Principal Youssef Mosallam explaining to parents, students, administrators and community leaders what measures were being taken to curb bullying, and how school officials handle the incidents when they occur.

When a few community leaders spoke about the recent letters, several parents erupted in anger at school administrators.

“Why didn’t you begin an investigation after the first letters came out?” said one parent. “Why did you wait?”

One family walked out of the meeting, telling the crowd that, “They’re not going to answer questions,” and questioning why more parents weren't informed about the meeting.

The town hall was cut short when arguments and yelling from attendees got too heated. Mosallam told parents that they could speak with him afterward, or at a later date.

Letters, Now Death Threats

After the letters were discovered, administrators conducted a probe and handed information over to the  for further investigation.

Some parents have called for further punishment for the boys—including expulsion. The mother of one of the boys who wrote the letters gave permission to the parents of the victims to call her or her son, said Fordson Assistant Principal Maysam Alie-Bazzi.

Some parents questioned whether the school handled the punishment correctly, or harshly enough. But Mosallam said that it’s his job to protect the victims and the perpetrators, and that the boys responsible have received death threats.

“When they’re receiving death threats, yes, I have to protect them,” he said.

A school resources police officer was on hand at the meeting, and said there is an ongoing police investigation on the letters. However, he said could not guarantee any charges would be brought against the students because that is the responsibility of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Lists are Nothing New

According to one former student, these sorts of letters have occurred in the past—but the situations were better handled.

“We had the same sort of letter come out when I was in school in 1997,” said Suhaila Amen of the in Dearborn. “It’s almost to a T. I just would like to know how this got to the point where it showed up on my Twitter feed and my Facebook.”

Both Mosallam and Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston said the schools reacted as soon as they found out. Mosellam said that he could not act on anonymous information he received initially.

“I cannot bring consequences on anyone as the result of an anonymous tip,” he said.

Whiston said it’s important to remember this incident did not happen at the school.

“It happened away from school,” he said. “I think parents would like us do more, and we’re doing all we can.”

Mosallam said information that spreads online is insidious and difficult to stop, and that there is still an ongoing investigation at the school.

“It’s difficult because you don’t know where the information came from, or where it’s going,” he said.

Anti-Bullying Program

The letters are serving as the first test of the district-community anti-bullying policy, which was at an event attended by teachers, parents, community leaders and business people, along with Whiston and Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly.

Whiston said he was disappointed the meeting ended before all of the information could be presented. He said that the district is staying the course with its anti-bullying program, and will do its best to hold the individuals responsible for writing and distributing the letters.

One student, Mariam Jalloul, said the letters are not indicative of the behavior of students at her school, and that most were surprised at their classmates’ conduct.

“I don’t think of Fordson as a school. I think of it as a family,” she said. “I wouldn’t want anyone to think that this went unnoticed at school.”

Esam February 29, 2012 at 03:59 PM
I attended the meeting, and Mr Mussallam had planted supporting relatives, students and staff who also were ready to make comments on his behalf, and he started explaining what is bullying (we all are familiar with) and allowed the students to speak the same language he did with the parents (just forget about it). Few of the parents tried to ask questions by raising hands and sometimes interrupting his speech, but he ignoring them which caused the outburst. I for one think that he was avoiding the subject on hand and he didnt want to confront any questions. He preached family and school communication which he failed at several times. He did not for either incidents call the victims' families to explain or set a meeting where they would be informed of what measures he was taking against such act.
Mona February 29, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Dear, Esam, First of all, it's Mr. Mosallam (his name is spelled above, so I cannot conclude why you misspelled it?). Secondly, to accuse him of having "planted supporting relatives, students, and staff" you are portraying the same ignorant mindset as the enraged parents who believe the school district failed to do their job. The letters were sent OUTSIDE of school - that means NEITHER on school grounds, NOR during school time. Thus, the responsibility of making sure students were being well behaved was no longer on the shoulders of parents and administrators - rather, it was in the hands of the PARENTS. Where were the parents? Why didn't they notice their sons were plotting such a thing? Sure, students spend more time in school, relative to the time spent at home. Yet, Dearborn supposedly prides itself on having close family ties - especially since there is a large Arab community (note: do not accuse me of being racist/prejudiced, because I am a Lebanese-American who spent 21 years living in Dearborn. I attended FHS and know exactly how "involved" parents are in their child's life). To continue, during a meeting, it is common COURTESY to maintain silence and offer undivided attention to the person speaking. Outbursts should not be tolerated, whether they are from the parents of the victims, or members of the board. If the audience cannot be contained, then they are not worthy of being allowed to speak in the first place. If you reply, do so with good grammar.
Lee Jacobsen February 29, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Mona's right....not a school issue. The parents of the girls should seek recourse, what the guys did was deplorable, but the schools were off the hook this time. Mosallam and Whiston were gracious enough to provide a forum for discussion at Fordson HS, but, since it was not a school issue, it is not their problem. The guys who wrote the letters could be pursued for slander in the courts, but that opens up other problems, such as the 'IF' scenarios, what if the stories are based in truth, and slander cannot be proven? Common sense and teenagers sometimes do not mix well.......a lot of the responsibility lies with the parents......Another thing, ....letters are so 'retro'! If this much fuss is created by actual physical letters, think of what may be on the mobile phones?......
Anon Y. Mous March 01, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Is it not weird that the students have been condemned for this letter, and the accused hated it yet I do not recall them denying it? THAT is the problem we need to face, the deteriorating morals of the young in this community.
My insight March 01, 2012 at 03:39 AM
I am a student at Fordson High School and I was included in one of the "skank lists" or whatever the hell you guys are calling it. I would like to justify that there were only 2-3 girls in that letter out of the 7 or 8 that were being called out on their alleged "sexual practices". You guys made it seem as if every girl on there is a whore or something. No. The senior letter getting out like that was the result of the GIRLS' actions. What I mean by that is they were the ones who spread it around unintentionally when they sent it to their friends. I am guilty of that, as are the other girls. We should have kept it within ourselves, but at the time it happened they were outraged and did not know how to act. This did not happen on school grounds or during school hours, so these parents need to face the facts. And quite frankly, I blame the girls for this because they gave people room to talk. If they had not, none of this would have taken place to begin with. So instead of blaming Mr. Mosallam for not acting out "as he should have" they need to take responsibility for their own actions. Mr. Mosallam has been nothing but helpful in this situation and they need to understand that he can not take matters into his own hands when he cannot get the guys that started all of this. It is also not his fault that the parents failed to raise their children properly. That is all. I love my school and administrators, however, I despise the failed student body that makes the majority look bad.
Jamal March 01, 2012 at 02:10 PM
These meetings should never have taken place...the school was set up to take the blame for a private matter. If these events happened during the summer break would the school be blamed too?? My understanding is that this town hall meeting was well publicized and just like every other meeting that involves "concerned parents" the attendance was the same, shameful....out 2500+ students at this school only fifty people show up??? Most, I might add don't even have children at the school, why were they there?? Just to create a scene?? How many parents attend PTA meetings, or even get involved with their children's school or education at all??? We expect the schools to fill the parenting void we create. Our kids do bad in school? Blames the School. Our kids do bad at home? Blame the school. Our kids do bad on the streets?Blame the school? Our kids do bad on facebook and twitter? Blame the school. You buy your kid a "gun" ...he stays in his room hours and days at a time...you don't even go in his room even when it starts to smell..then he goes and "shoots" the "gun" and you are shocked???
Esam March 01, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Well I will not oblige a reply regarding the name spelling issue that Mona raised and also please do not advocate that you know about Dearborn parents and how they raise their kids because that will create a large issue and would not be highly appreciated, thus, for anyone's information is that there was another meeting yesterday between the school officials and the parents with their kids which resulted of the Schools Superintendent having a plan to place a rule within thwe school system which will correct such actions even though it did not happen on school premises, also Mr " MOSALLAM" listened to understand from the parents' point of view and promised that he would improve on the parents and school open communication level and allowed the victims to speak their feeling and minds. Some have told a story that one young girl was being bullied and she resorted to make a martial art move on one boy who was bothering her and I do commend her for defending herself, but is that a solution to such act if the schools and everyone else would say if it didnt happen on school premises, it is not their problem. The kids do spend a small prtion of their day at school, but it does not mean that once they leave its front doors, their education stops there. The parents were only trying to reach out to Mr MOSALLAM since they ran out of all other legal options, and he came through for them, and we shall wait and see. May God bless us all...
Mike March 01, 2012 at 04:19 PM
I believe Mona, when you are posting a comment regarding an issue that you may not agree with, you should retain respect, maybe something you are hesitant to maintain. You are trying to portray the fact that somebody misspelled a name on the comment section of a website, just because you don't agree with this person. It is very rude to do this to somebody, who is a sharing-member of your community, and most likely older than you. If you are so proud of yourself and your spelling, why don't you post your resume up or list some of your accomplishments, so that the entire community and other readers on this website can make note of somebody so honorable leaving comments. Maybe others in the area can begin to look up to somebody more notable and you can share your secrets to success with all of us. I think you should think before you disrespect somebody, regardless of the issue being address, and whether or not you agree with their comment. I am sure that your name has been spelling wrong, pronounced wrong, and you probably spelled somebody's name wrong in the past as well, unless your success is admirable and flawless- which seems to be the case, and I am be wrong. P.S. I will be waiting for your resume. You should publicly announce your full name to, just incase the media wants to use you as their cover story. Maybe you can win a spelling bee.
Mariam Charara March 01, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Actually, no where in these articles was it stated that all of the girls were being called out on their "sexual practices." No one implied that every girl on there is a bad person. These reports are simply facts about what was written and not accusations about whether they were true.
sam berry March 01, 2012 at 05:29 PM
All you parents should be ashamed of yourselves. Parents should teach there sons to respect girls like they respect their mothers and daughters to keep their legs crossed and mouths shut. Then they wouldn't have made the list. To the parents take off the rose colored glasses and get your head out your asses. Your kids are not angels we have all done stupid thing and so will your kids. The difference will be the morals that you the parents distill in your child. Sam
Amy Stegner March 02, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Mike, Though normally I avoid adding to threads like this, I find your reply to Mona to be a bit troubling. The questions she raised (re: parental responsibility) are completely valid and, quite frankly, some of the key questions that I feel need to be addressed in this situation. Furthermore, her correction of the misspelled name doesn't merit your demanding her resume. Some people are simply more concerned with grammar and spelling, which I find admirable. I could further my point by correcting the errors in YOUR post, but I can only imagine the direction things might take then. (And, not that it's any of your business, but let me reassure you of my credentials: I've worked in three different professional tutoring centers.)
Lee Jacobsen March 02, 2012 at 06:58 AM
Jamal, First, the light attendance shows that most parents know they have done a good job of teaching their kids the proper manners and common sense that we expect from out student body in Dearborn. We all pay school taxes, so we all have a vested interest in a good outcome of the educational system. Second, why would you buy your kid a gun, especially if you feel he is 'unpredictable'? i am assuming you are referring to a hand gun. Also, the sanitary conditions of a room and shooting a gun are pretty far apart, don't you think? What does he shoot with the gun anyway? The TV or computer? Any parent who buys their kid a gun of course is expected to follow though and teach them the basics of how to use it, not only marksmanship, but sound judgement on when to use it. After all, don't want to shoot your 'eye' out.
Mike March 02, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Amy, I agree with you, but she still has no room to call somebody out. And as for my grammar, I did not say I am perfect in speaking or spelling the English language. Hence, if she is so confident, why won't she release who she is, including her resume to the community. I am sure we all would like to honor somebody so smart and "full of themselves", so we are able to look up to somebody so great, as she makes it seem.
Amy Stegner March 02, 2012 at 03:40 PM
Mike- You're completely missing my point. Respectfully checking out of this debate before it gets worse.


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