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AG Nessel Partners with MDCR for Bloomfield Hills Virtual Community Forum

LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) John E. Johnson, Jr., took part in an informational community forum this evening to discuss discrimination in schools.

The virtual event was organized in response to the Department of Attorney General receiving outreach from parents within the Bloomfield Hills School District related to complaints of racism.

"I applaud Attorney General Nessel for talking directly to parents, teachers and students in communities that have experienced hate and bias in their own local schools," Johnson said. "It is imperative that we find ways to reverse this disturbing trend and ensure that every student, whatever their race, ethnicity, gender identity or disability, has equal access to an education free of harassment and violence. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights is proud to partner with the Attorney General in this effort."

Nessel presented on the difference between free speech and a crime and what to do in a situation where you are targeted.

"It's vital that we equip our communities with the proper information and resources in order to fully combat violence and harassment in any situation, especially our schools," Nessel said. "It was important to me that we partner with MDCR given what we've been hearing from the Bloomfield Hills community. It is my hope attendees of tonight's virtual forum feel the information presented was helpful. We remain committed to supporting communities across Michigan."

MDCR Director of Community Engagement Anthony Lewis also shared a presentation during the event, focused on the department's role and services offered in response to hate and bias incidents in schools.

Nessel and Johnson then took questions from registrants.

Earlier this month, Nessel issued a video highlighting the seriousness of making threats against schools and school officials.

If you receive a threat or know of a threat of violence against your community, please contact your local law enforcement.

You can also leave a tip with the state's OK2SAY hotline by calling 8-555-OK2SAY (855-565-2729) or texting 652729 (OK2SAY). The hotline operates 24/7 and protects the confidentiality of the reporter's identity.

OK2SAY, which is housed within the Michigan State Police, provides for confidential reports of potential self-harm, harm to others, or criminal acts including, but not limited to, sexual abuse, assault, or rape, directed at students, school employees, or schools in this state.