Parent Volunteers Will Supplement Law Enforcement at Terry Jones Protest Wednesday in Dearborn

Dearborn Public Schools Supt. Brian Whiston said he expects Edsel Ford High School to be the "safest place in America" during Wednesday's protest by the anti-Islam pastor.

Dearborn Public Schools officials responded Monday night to concerns over an upcoming protest at Edsel Ford High School by anti-Islam Florida pastor Terry Jones.

Supt. Brian Whiston shared that the district has made provisions with local and state law enforcement agencies and others concerned about the protest, including assembling 50 volunteers monitoring goings-on at the high school, to ensure schools takes place without interruption.

“We have brought together law enforcement—we can’t outline the plans because that’s not what law enforcement does—to make sure students are safe,” said Whiston.

“It’s probably going to be the safest place in America,” he added.

Whiston on Monday attended a parent meeting at Edsel Ford aimed at quelling parent concerns about the protest, and said afterward that the district is doing everything it can to ensure the safety and well-being of all students and staff at the Edsel facility.

“About 125 parents were at the meeting, so there were a lot of questions,” he said. “I think we answered all of those questions."

Some parents expressed concern over the visit, while others felt confident that the response from schools, city officials and police would be adequate.

"With all the plans I've seen of how it's going to be set up, we'll have so much police presence and even behind the scenes security inside and out of the building, that the gun is just a piece of clothing," commented Colette Richards on Patch. "He won't get near any students, teachers or staff members of that school or any other school."

To the question of a forced absence, Whiston added, "We definitely encourage parents to send their kids to school Wednesday."

One parent who had originally questioned whether she would send her son to school said that he would be attending Edsel on Wedesday, following reassurance from the district, as well as her son.

"I feel that the Dearborn police, the mayor, the schools—everyone is doing everything that needs to be done to keep our kids safe," said parent Pat Turnbull following Monday's meeting.

"Even more so, because of what my son said, which is—he doesn't see the point of why this guy is coming ... or anyone getting upset about it," she added. "If that's the way he feels ... I think it's going to be fine."

On Tuesday, student volunteers will go to each classroom at the high school to explain what is happening to students, Whiston said.

Jones, a controversial pastor that has visited Dearborn three times to spread an anti-Islam message in the community, is returning to the city to protest what he sees as mistreatment and “bullying of non-Muslim students."

Trustee Pamela Adams said she’s disappointed Jones elected to come to a school.

“I think the general consensus is that the less attention paid to him, the better,” she said. “But we’re doing everything we can to make sure that students are safe, and we’re proud of Edsel Ford.”

Whiston agreed that the spotlight on Jones is a problem for the community, and added that Jones will be on the public sidewalk, and will not be able to protest on school grounds.

“I wish he weren’t coming," he said, "and frankly, I think he should pay attention to issues in Florida."

Jan October 09, 2012 at 11:58 AM
Can we get some details and factual information as to what events actually occurred at Edsel Ford High School to prompt this visit?
City of Dearborn (Editor) October 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Jones has not officially confirmed this, but the general thought is that the "bullying" he's talking about refers to a fight that started last May between a group of teens at Edsel. The Arab American News reported that the fight was described by some as a “racial war” between African American and Arab American teens. http://www.arabamericannews.com/news/index.php?mod=article&cat=Community&article=5591 However, I must caution that the details I've heard differ depending on who you ask. Others (including some parents of kids at the school) say it had nothing to do with race, or prejudice of any kind.
Jan October 09, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Thanks for the information.
cheryl October 09, 2012 at 01:21 PM
According to every kid I've talked to, the fight had nothing to do with race. It started as a party the previous weekend and my understanding is that it was over a girl. Shocking, right? It spilled over into school the next week. My daughter attends Edsel and tells me the bullying is a lovely cross section of all races and genders.
Sharon Murphy October 09, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Seems as though Terry Jones is the one who is being protected. Doubt he wants to get near any teachers, staff, students....too smart for that. Maybe if he didn't get all this protection, he'd quit showing up. Right now, he's being given a lot of power and control. "Safest place in America?" a bit over-the-top.
LD October 09, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Jessica Carreras, Tell it like it is, DON'T FEEDING into this marxist illuminati "racist" crap. How can we have peace when you people keep perpetuating the same crap. I hope you are not one of the teachers, I'd hate to have someone like you teaching my kids. Islam, muslim is not the problem, the problem is "their expectations" and your attitude. If they must have more than we can give them, then they need to go where it is more excepted. Plain and simple. And stop pushing the "racist" thing, you sound like a libtard.
Lee Jacobsen October 09, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Parents should be advised that Terry Jones is armed, and is prone to shooting himself, and may shoot others with a stray shot if he misses himself this time. Let's make it a 'non-event' , bring lawn chairs, a good book, and just stare at them occasionally.
Kathy October 09, 2012 at 03:21 PM
They should call the Michigan Peace Team to help at events like these. They are trained in peace keeping techniques. Personally I hope no one even looks at the jerk.
Donna Hay October 09, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I fail to see any 'racist' material here LD. Jessica has and will continue to keep Dearborn residents informed on good, bad and indifferent topics that come up. I think she is doing an outstanding job.
Jeanine October 09, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Donna I agree with you!
Andy October 09, 2012 at 06:34 PM
kim October 09, 2012 at 07:32 PM
This is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard, that we are even considering sending these kids to school, while that maniac is out spewing his hatred!! I do not want my child anywhere near that school tomorrow! Why are we even entertaining the idea of giving this creep an audience!!
Frances Hayes October 09, 2012 at 07:57 PM
My understanding is that the plan is to try to make sure students have as normal a school day as possible. Terry Jones uses these trips to try to raise his public recognition, to raise funds, and to get attention. Let the first responders do their job to ensure Mr. Jones' constitutional rights and to protect citizens. The rest of us need to ignore Mr. Jones and do our best to live everyday lives of respect and civility.
MoJo October 09, 2012 at 08:27 PM
"Marxist illuminati racist crap??" Do you have any idea how idiotic your comment sounds, LD? I imagine not. How about you keep your hallucinations to yourself and let the rest of the reasonable and thoughtful people on this site discuss the situation in a reasonable and thoughtful manner? Maybe you have some friends who'd like to hear your nutty diatribes instead. Then again, probably not.
SandraB October 09, 2012 at 09:28 PM
What I would love is a nice round of the Edsel Ford School Song and the National Anthem playing on any outside loud speakers throughout his speech. Let it show we are united, not afraid of him and let him try to speak over it.
SandraB October 09, 2012 at 09:36 PM
LD:: As Donna said, I see no racist comments at all in Jessica's comment. She simply provided a link to an article for some to read for more info. She also made a point of urging all to be cautious when thinking it might be about race as she heard from a number of people it wasn't. It was simply a fight between a bunch of boys that got way out of hand. It was quelled VERY quickly and the matter turned over to police to handle. Then school went on as normal with most of the school body shaking their heads at how foolish those involved had been.
Tom Laundroche October 09, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Good idea
Tom Laundroche October 09, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Yes indeed
Hawra October 10, 2012 at 01:53 AM
This is all nonesence there is no bullying in Edsel because of different races... Open up a yearbook and you will see all the Muslim guys with the American girls going to prom together and since this issue is so big in Dearborn the question is why doesn't this "bullying" happen at Dearborn high school or fordson high school each with 2000 student mixed with multiple different races/religions
Kathryn Maurin October 10, 2012 at 03:11 AM
1. Those Muslim boys are Americans too. 2. Why can't this jerk stay home? Terry Jones you are not wanted or needed.
AC October 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Marxist illuminati? Perhaps your screen name should be LSD.
LHB October 10, 2012 at 04:29 PM
I appreciate that the majority of the comments are thoughtful, respectful, insightful and address the topic - with a notable exception. Why I dislike that Terry Jones has decided - again- to be here uninvited and unwanted, I am also very concerned that an irrational paranoic is apparently untended in our community - scary!
Claudia Gee October 10, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Where are the Christians who will stand up against aggressive Islam trying to take over our country? Terry Jones is a Christian who is doing his job. It is time that we hit the streets and make our voices known. As Christians, we have not done our job because we were selfish and scared. Now, let's repent, pull ourselves up by the boot straps and get busy.
becki kain October 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM
So, did he show? What happened? I'm not seeing any BREAKING NEWS so I assume he didn't show?


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »