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Posted on Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

Police respond to student altercation at Slauson Middle School

By Danielle Arndt

Police were dispatched to Slauson Middle School Friday morning to investigate a physical altercation between two students.


Slauson Middle School


The incident occurred during first period, school officials said. Police were called to the scene at about 8:40 a.m. Ann Arbor Public Schools Communications Director Liz Margolis said the police spent several hours at Slauson investigating and meeting with the two students and parents involved.

There were no serious injuries and no weapons were involved, Margolis said, adding she's not sure if the altercation could be classified as a "fight." She declined to give any additional details about the incident.

Margolis said the students' behaviors were addressed in accordance with the district's Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. According to the handbook, fighting or physical aggression can carry a consequence of up to a six- to 10-day suspension.

Rumors about injuries and the incident were circulating because police were present at the school for most of the morning, so the district decided to issue an email to Slauson families, Margolis said.

Read the complete correspondence sent home:

Dear Slauson Families,

We are aware of numerous rumors being spread by concerned students surrounding an altercation that took place during first period today. The police were summoned to the building in response to this incident and spent several hours at Slauson investigating the matter and conducting interviews, along with Slauson Administration, and meeting with students and parents directly involved.

Despite the rumors, thankfully, there were no serious injuries that resulted from this incident.

Please rest assured that the matter has been thoroughly investigated and the students involved in wrongdoing have received consequences in accordance with those outlined in the Ann Arbor Public School's Rights and Responsibilities Handbook.

If your student(s) indicate concerns at home this evening or weekend, please reassure them that no one was seriously injured.

Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at


D. Schafer

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 1:50 p.m.

Testing my temper...

D. Schafer

Tue, Mar 19, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

Fights at school, used to be outside on the play ground, these days there're in the school being recorded. The rule book needs an update. Has anyone checked YouTube for a movie of this socalled fight? Kids that start fights in school should be home schooled! More like bully (large girl) beating small girl(getting kicked)after being pushed down! Not a fight, an attack! Kids like this one should not be at a public school.


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 1:51 p.m.

So once again the police are called in to raise someone else's children.


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

Because the parents are not doing their job...again. I told mine you mess up? You will be facing a judge. Nuff said.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

Once Mr Broom leaves for Carpenter you can rest assured the children will try anything at this school. This is one difficult school to work with. Mr Broom puts them in their place. Remember the 8th grade food fight a few days before the last day of school? I do. It is only going to get worse unless the principals get a handle on this.


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

Ah nuts, I looked at it wrong. The principal at this school is also a tough nut even though their violation polices are lax. This school is lax in their overall tough nut polices. Scarlett on the other hand is well secure.I do know that the children on some counts get away with a lot of stuff. Carry on.


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

Yes, it sounds like jns131 is talking about Scarlett, not Slauson.


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 3:01 a.m.

Isn't Mr. Broom coming from Scarlett? This incident happened at Slauson.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:31 p.m.

Hold on to your hats folks the AA School Board members have got themselves in a legal quagmire. How are they going to intervene in the legal system on behalf of some students and not others? Did they intervene with the Huron students who vandalized the police car or the Pioneer students that damaged the Huron tennis courts? Which sons (or daughters) are they going to "protect" and which are they going to leave to the legal system? AAPS was a mess when my kids were there in the 90s and 00s and it sounds worse now. The system is set up to turn a blind eye to bad behavior and anarchy, unless they are forced to act. The only place my kids felt safe was in the AP classes - good kids, good teachers. The lunchroom, hallways and most (not all) of the regular classes were chaos. The behavior in the woods and parking lots around Huron were terrible.....

Linda Peck

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

It is always a sad day when people fight, and especially children. My heart goes out to these children. It is my hope that the interventions will help to heal and not bruise or hurt them. I send blessings and prayers for them.

martini man

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

The solution to this type a thing is very easily attained. Just put up a sign proclaiming "Altercation Free Zone" right next to the signs of "Drug Free Zone" and "Gun free Zone" .


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:52 p.m. will this be handled in accordance with the "discipline gap"? Normal kids don't leave a class to go attack another. Throw them in juvenile.


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 12:14 a.m.

"Normal" is only in the eyes of the beholder, sadly. The differences in behavior USUALLY stem from socioeconomic class and educational attainment. However, in our wonderfully advanced technological society things escalate at rapid fire with students from 6th-12th. The mix of varying speeds of development mentally and the hormonal fluctuations are a bad chemical mix. So...if Billy called Betty last night, or Facebooked/Tweeted Susy...and Billy is Susy's boyfriend... one never knows what may come to happen the next day at school. This is an extremely mild example. But sadly, it is a reality daily at ALL schools. Hmmm....kind of like real life, huh? We can't all be successful, logical, and classy, as is evident from some of these posts, right?

Michigan Man

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

I am a white man in my middle 60's and I still get in physical fights - whats wrong this that. Ended up with a black eye about two months ago - you should of seen the other guy. Learned this behavior in the Ann Arbor public schools growing up and it has stuck with me my entire life.

Michigan Man

Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 1:26 a.m.

K - Ever heard of MMA? Think you may be just a bit mistaken. You may want to reconsider and possibly restate your position.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

The rule of fight club is that you don't talk about fight club...


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Michigan Man, If that's how you get your kicks (no pun intended) I don't care, as long as you are not provoking confrontations with others who do not want to be involved. However, the vast majority of us would prefer to have our children in schools where they can hopefully focus on education while feeling safe. It doesn't mean that we want our children in a plastic bubble, but idiotic fights can easily result in non-participants being injured. By the way, I am certainly not what you would refer to as a lefty soft-dude (although I do prefer peace). I'd rather think of myself as sensible and civilized.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

And you're proud of this? I am going to be 60 in June (and I to am white, though I'm not sure what that has to do with it) and can't remember the last time I was in a physical altercation even though there have been times it came close. It's called growing up and becoming an adult.

Michigan Man

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

O - Once I transferred over to University High School - in Ann Arbor - they tried to make me a lefty, peace loving soft dude - didn't work very well either - guess I just don't take direction very well - Can still handle myself pretty well these days.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:54 p.m.

And I see you haven't learned anything since.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

So, I expect we will get a comment from the Superintendent on Monday.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

I doubt it. She might have one of her many cabinet members address us, the little people, though. All the school board will do is - blink, blink, blink. Kids fighting - oh dear!


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

Do you really think a middle school fight should handled by the Superintendent?


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

1. "...District spokeswoman Liz Margolis said Tuesday afternoon school officials had not been notified of the charges. She said she would look into how the district may handle the situation if the student is convicted, but cautioned Garain only has been accused of a crime at this point. She said Garain has the right to go to school, "provided there were no potential issues at the school building that resulted in the charges..." 2. In 2011, about 250 seniors took part in a scavenger hunt. It resulted in $2,800 in damage to two rival Ann Arbor high schools and 31 suspensions. 3. "Margolis said the students' behaviors were addressed in accordance with the district's Rights and Responsibilities Handbook." Three sets of rules and counting.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

I wish there was a 6 to 10 day suspension for those who needlessly and thoughtlessly wave the race card in situations like this. Doing so only perpetuates the issue.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

No (serious) injuries, no weapons. Witnesses cannot even be sure if it was a "fight." What were the police there for again? Have we reached the point in our civilization where we cannot solve problems without lawyers and law enforcement present? What lessons are we teaching kids - "have a problem with your classmate, snow them over with legal threats and the force of the law." So much for the art of politics and negotiating.

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

So, Angry Moderate, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions. I am the parent of a Slauson student, and no, they weren't white.......and what difference does that make? The administrators followed the district guidelines, and the students actually got the maximum penalty. Plus, this is now in the juvenile court system. I think it was handled appropriately.

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 5:29 p.m.

Believe me, this was no "altercation." The perpetrator planned this attack ahead of time, and yes, this child should be in the juvenile court system. She viciously planned and attacked an attack on another child who was smart enough not to fight back. If this isn't nipped in the bud, this angry child will be one who goes into somewhere with a gun and it will be a much different story. Hopefully, she can get the help she needs and thank God, no one was seriously injured.

Jim Osborn

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:36 p.m.

"they weren't white.......and what difference does that make?" Ask the AA School Board, as the race of individual students is very, very important to them. They are not color blind, as they should be.

Usual Suspect

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

"no, they weren't white.......and what difference does that make" This is a question you should be asking the Board.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

Two middle schoolers involved in an "altercation" that cannot even be characterized as a "fight" are now in the juvenile system, and you believe that it was handled appropriately? You couldn't be further from the truth. If we've indeed thrown two children into the court system, due to the fact that attending adults couldn't defuse the sort of thing that has happened between children since time began (in other words, a disagreement), then we've done a terrible disservice to these kids. We have not handled it appropriately.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 11:36 a.m.

Little kids fighting and the cops are called. My, my, my! This never happened when I grew up. The teachers, principal and parents handled discipline, no cops were ever called and we got on with life. My how society has changed. Maybe we should express similar outrage with how our politicians are spending our tax dollars. Cops called for a kid fight?! Go figure!


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 6:05 p.m.

Based on these responses to my comment, if true, it is a sad state of affairs for our school system and our society in general.

Usual Suspect

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Barb: "Now teachers, principals and even some parents are afraid to discipline kids because they can be taken to court." Absolutely correct. The teacher I know won't touch any kid under any circumstances, short of the threat of serious bodily harm to herself or another student. And they are trained in exactly how to subdue a student in a way that reduces the chances for a lawsuit. Make sure you don't touch the kid here or there, even accidentally. And while you're in this pressure situation, also make sure you don't say anything that could be misconstrued by a mom who has race-baiting on her mind. The time when a teacher could just teach instead of being a social worker (for both the students and their incompetent parents), a nanny, and their own defense attorney is long gone.

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

Goober, kids are different in today's world. There are so many that aren't taught normal societal norms, and the physical aggressiveness is showing up a lot more in early elementary grades. Since we are not really allowed to discipline in AAPS (due to the AAPS' new unwritten discipline policies) kids are learning they can get away with just about anything. I have seen the cops at my school also, and it is pretty sad. So now we have some parents not disciplining, teachers and principals not allowed to discipline, so what we get are more police involved with he schools. Sorry, but the police can make decisions that we in the schools are not allowed to, and for everyones' safety, we need them. I would rather use my tax dollars for this type of police assistance than continue to give AAPS $$$$ so they can give administration high salaries and cut programs for students.

Barb's Mom

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

@ Goober-The police weren't called for school fights when I was a kid either, but the school had more authority to discipline students without fear of being sued. Now teachers, principals and even some parents are afraid to discipline kids because they can be taken to court.

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:33 p.m.

This was not a "kid fight." It was one student planning and carrying out an assault on another student, who, by the way, did not fight back. This type of behavior needs to be stopped before this angry child is turning a gun on people.

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 3:30 a.m.

Is this the same school administration that just told us they can handle discipline in cases of crimal felony assault charges, and the police should stay out of it? And yet they called the police?

Jim Osborn

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

@CLX Best comment of the day! A kid called from inside the classroom via a cell phone. It makes sense. He or she was scared, an attack, if the rumor is true, and the teacher kept out. They would not have the adm number handy but they would have 911 handy. AA dot com - Do a FOA and see if this happened.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 10:54 a.m.

wonder if one of the kids called the police. lots of cell phones these days. they may have also called the police to get help physically restraining a kid - teacher grabs a kid, it's a potential law suit.

Basic Bob

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:31 a.m.

Yeah, they called the police for the other case, too. They even turned over the tapes to the police. D'Oh!


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

"Margolis said, adding she's not sure if the altercation could be classified as a "fight." Actually the proper term is assault. Or if no attempts to injure were made, both can be charged in juvenile court for Disturbing the Peace. And very now and then you get what seems like "mutual combat," both parties equally guilty and if there is no victim, just two suspects, DP is your charge of choice. That's what I always did. Michigan's penal code is quite remarkably written. If you have some behavior that just seems wrong, there is almost always a law you can stick it under.

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 11:56 a.m.

Actually, the assaulted student didn't fight back, and, I believe, only the perpetrator was charged. I don't know why Ms Margolis used that phrasing. From what I understand, it wasn't a fight, but certainly was an assault.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:19 a.m.

The school says there were no "serious" injuries. If there were no injuries at all, they wouldn't have thrown the "serious" in there.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:58 a.m.

"According to the handbook, fighting or physical aggression can carry a consequence of up to a six- to 10-day suspension." And how many suspensions were given for the Pioneer-Huron riot? Thursday: The ruling elite of aaps vote to ask the prosecutor to drops charges against those students actively involved in a riot. Friday: The ruling elite call police for a grade school fight.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

You can call it middle school. I'll call it what it is - grade school. "Middle schoolers should have consequences." Do you think 18 year olds swinging crutches in the middle of riots should have consequences? aaps apparently doesn't.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

Why should they call police? They kicked them out of patrolling the schools, and the BOE doesn't want them charging the kids. Why bother calling them at all?

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : noon

First of all, it wasn't grade school (K-5); it was middle school. Middle schoolers should have consequences. This was a vicious attack, which one student planned and talked about for a couple of days before it happened. The police should have been called. These are two entirely different situations and should have been and were handled as such.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:47 a.m.

Remember, according to Susan Brackett, these two kids are just babies.

Sammy Dog

Mon, Mar 18, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

wrong spelling, wrong board member


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

If Mr. Mark Twain ever caught wind of skylarking like this, why, a good book or two might have come of it. But I don't think he would've needed police assistance.

Morty Seinfeld

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1 a.m.

I think the AAPS needs to just level with the community and fully disclose what happened during incidents such as cuts down on misinformation and unsubstantiated rumors.

Sarah Heidt

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

This was an art class and the teacher was just doing something with the kiln. The teacher didn't do anything wrong or neglectful.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

It sounds like more than a fight. If the attacker conspired with other students to have the door blocked so that the teacher could not intervene, it certainly sounds like a conspiracy. That would make this more than just "a fight between two middle school kids." Do we know if the teacher has been disciplined for their role in this?

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

I think it warrants news coverage, as the police were called, and a crime was committed, but we must remember these are still children (12-13 years old), and their privacy should be protected.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:49 a.m.

A fight between two middle school kids does not warrant press coverage anywhere. It must have been a slow news day at

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

Never happen Morty, they never even reported a student who brought a gun to Slauson once.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

This is teachable moment for the board of education ...hope they are listening!

Angry Moderate

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

"the students involved in wrongdoing have received consequences" So basically, they were white?


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 1:30 p.m.

Wow. I know a nearly identical situation happened at Skyline a couple of years ago, but in front of an aid who ran out to get the teacher. The students had been blocking the door way and encouraging the aggressor to beat the other student who was working at avoiding the situation. When the teacher walked in, he immediately, without thinking, sent both the aggressor and the victim to the office, who were both subsequently suspended (pushing a person away who is assaulting you is apparently enough physical contact to call for suspension). The only difference I see in the two stories in fact is that one made the news. The victim in this case simply left the school and never returned.


Sun, Mar 17, 2013 : 12:58 a.m.

why were there so many suspensions? were the kids calling for the teacher suspended just for being in the room?

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

Shine 16, I agree that the facts should, and I feel, will come out. Their names should be withheld, but of course, everyone at Slauson knows who they were. I feel that this was handled appropriately, as the maximum consequences were leveled to the perpetrator. I agree the teacher should have been able to leave the class for a minute, but my daughter is an elementary school teacher, and they are NEVER allowed to leave the class alone for any reason. That didn't happen when my older children were in school, but these are different times. But, I also feel that the Slauson administrators would be smart to hold an open meeting to answer questions to ensure everyone feels their children are safe.

Jim Osborn

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

@"Responsible" Citizen "I think plenty of rumors are going around, and we probably will never know what really happened, as these are still children, and their privacy should be protected." This should not mean that what happened in that classroom shoul dbe covered up. The names of those involved should be kept hidden, but not what happened. If this rumor is true, then everyone in the community, expecially parents of children who attend that school have a right to know. Or, if it is a false rumor, the air needs to be cleared, as it is bad for the school. Something is wrong if a teacher cannot leave a classroom for 3 or 4 minutes. When I was a kid, it happened all the time and nothing ever happened. If this is not longer true, what a sad reflection on our community.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:21 p.m.

It did happen during first hour. The perpetrator left her first hour without permission. She entered the classroom of the victim and assaulted her while the teacher was in a supply room. It was most definitely a fight. The other kids present were very scared and were yelling for the teacher, but he couldn't here them. The e-mail from the school downplays the situation. My information comes from first hand witnesses.

Responsible Citizen

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:10 p.m.

I'm not sure Lola's information is correct. My child also goes to Slauson. She has first hour with the perpetrator and said nothing happened in that class (which is when it was supposed to have happened). Plus, the perpetrator was missing from first hour, and the assaulted student doesn't even share the first-hour class with the perpetrator. It probably happened before school, so I don't know if the information about the teacher being out of the classroom is correct. Plus the student's first-hour class is gym, and there is an aide in that class, so the students wouldn't have been left alone. I think plenty of rumors are going around, and we probably will never know what really happened, as these are still children, and their privacy should be protected.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 6:24 a.m.

If what Lola says is true, then this was a criminal assault, and the Board of Education will do its best to ensure the consequences are nothing more than a special field trip and maybe some pizza.

Basic Bob

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 4:29 a.m.

Clearly they were not athletes.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:48 a.m.

We heard the same story as Lola, although as second-hand information we can't really verify it. If true it's a LOT more serious than the school implied.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

OMG! I truly hope that that teacher is disciplined! Now there's a story. If my child were in that class - lawsuit. You never leave students in a class unsupervised. Period. Wow! That's what you should be reporting on.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:47 a.m.

So Lola, and you know this because?


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 12:01 a.m.

Angry A, although that is completely false, it's sad that the behavior from the BOE has made many jaded towards AAPS and their discipline policies.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 11:39 p.m.

No, they were not and there were more than 2 students involved. It happened in a classroom when the teacher briefly left to get some supplies needed for class. A group of kids assisting the aggressor blocked the doorway and prevented the teacher from re-entering the room and any students from leaving while the aggressor wailed on the victim.


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 10:37 p.m.

At least they got a letter home, not that it was much of a letter. Tappan has never communicated anything to its parents despite the tons of rumors of fights, firecrackers/destruction, and even drugs.

Dirty Mouth

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:31 a.m.

Tappan is "Old Skool"

Usual Suspect

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

Quick, we need a resolution from the Board of Education so we know what they think of this!


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Glad there wasn't a six- to 10-day suspension for "fighting or physical aggression" when I attended Slauson 1979-1983. A lecture from Mr Peterson was enough!


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 11:24 a.m.

Aw, Mr. Peterson. He was an amazing educator and role model.

J. A. Pieper

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

But the difference was that Mr. Peterson was fair and respectful to everyone, and he had great rapport with the students. I taught there during those years, and he was the best principal to work for Ann Arbor doesn't have people like him anymore!

Basic Bob

Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

They could have consulted the handbook when a fight broke out at Pioneer Stadium. It's sad if high school sudents are not held to a behavioral standard applied at the middle school level.

Jim Osborn

Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

I saw many fights as a kid in both elementary school and jr high school No one was ever hurt and never, ever were the police called. Usually, if a teacher were to show up, both parties would instantly stop and run away before the teached could be close enough to see anything. Calling the police for fingting among 11 to 13 year olds, with no weapons, seems a bit harsh.


Sat, Mar 16, 2013 : 10:54 a.m.

Good Point. Key word is "held", as the same behavioral standards apply to both levels


Fri, Mar 15, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

With the mess that has followed the Pioneer-Huron football fiasco, you can bet AAPS will attempt to keep this as quiet as possible. I hope it is true that nobody was injured and that no weapons were involved in any way. However, I am puzzled that police were dispatched to the school if the altercation may not be classified as a "fight" unless something more serious was involved in some way.