FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (WJBK) - A school administrator in Farmington Hills is currently on paid leave after a comment was made at a pep rally, comparing a couple cheerleaders to strippers.
Angela Leach, the assistant principal at Farmington Hills Harrison High School, has since apologized for the comment, we're told, but it's still led to questions not only about her authority, but also about how the district is handling race relations in general.
"Harrison is a diverse school," said one parent. "That's one of the things I loved best about it. I see it on the soccer field, I see it in the hallways. I see the kids together all the time."
The schools board boasts about how 80 languages are spoken by families who attend the schools. But even the vice president of the school board, Terry Johnson, will admit diversity does not always mean equality.
"We have a section of our community that doesn't feel like they are part of the community," he said. "That needs to be addressed."
And some feel what happened back in September following the pep rally brought the issue of race front and center.
"The current situation with the cheerleader is simply the straw that has broken the camel's back," said one parent.
Others say the comment made from an assistant principal to two cheerleaders, comparing them to strippers, is being blown out of proportion.
"It was not bullying, and it was not a racist remark," said another parent. "It was an inappropriate comment."
The school district says Leach has apologized for the comment and is currently on leave while Human Resources continues to investigate.
"There is a due process," said Mark Przeslawski, a school board member. "We have to let that take and review things and see how it goes against the policy."
While the disciplinary action is still yet to be determined, the board's focus will be on the big picture, the board said.
"We as a community must come together," Johnson said. "I am not anti-Angela Leach. I'm not pro-Angela Leach. I am pro-Farmington Public Schools."
After the meeting, the school district said the Farmington School Board President Jim Stark resigned. A source from the district claimed it was unrelated to the current climate.