School Board to Prosecutor: Rethink Charges

The Ann Arbor Public School board has weighed in to support three district students who face criminal charges as a result of a “brawl” that took place at the conclusion of a football game last year. The game took place on Oct. 12, 2012 between Huron and Pioneer high schools, both schools in the AAPS district. A hearing for one of the students is scheduled for one of the students on March 15, 2013.

The board’s resolution, which was put forward by trustee Susan Baskett, asks Washtenaw County prosecutor Brian Mackie to reconsider the charges his office has brought against the young men. Included as “resolved clauses” in the resolution were the  following:

THEREFORE, we ask that our students, when required to be accountable through the judicial system and thereby learn from their mistakes, be treated with compassion, fairness, equity, efficacy, and respect for their ability to learn, and
WE THEREFORE FURTHER RECOMMEND that the Prosecuting Attorney, Brian Mackie, consider the best interests of the injured student, the students criminally charged and the community by re-evaluating the degree of criminalization of adolescent behaviors that would be better resolved through a greater emphasis on educational and developmentally appropriate measures relative to harsh charges and convictions.

The board had voted at its Feb. 27, 2013 meeting to place the resolution on the March 13 agenda – over dissent from trustees Andy Thomas and Irene Patalan. The resolution was unanimously passed.

This brief was filed from the board room of the Ann Arbor District Library in downtown Ann Arbor at Fifth and William. A more detailed report of the meeting will follow.