Forest Hills board, NAACP meet about student blackface incident

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The NAACP met with some members of the Forest Hills school board behind closed doors on Wednesday.  They were discussing the fallout from an incident involving a student wearing blackface at Forest Hills Northern earlier this month.

Some of the discussion included a deeper explanation of some of the programs and training happening at Forest Hills schools involving equity work. Superintendent Dan Behm also says they've had mandatory workshops and programming for staff and administration for almost a decade.

Forest Hills is also looking to hire an equity and inclusion officer to oversee all of its programs. It's something officials say they've been looking to do for a few years.

Superintendent Behm says they want to work on increasing the capacity of the people these programs and workshops reach, meaning exposing more students and staff to these experiences.

"I think the NAACP gained a deeper understanding of the inclusion and equity work that we’ve been doing over the years as a district and I think we all agreed that this work is important and we can do more to impact all of the learners in our community,” Behm said. "We just need to increase our capacity to work with more students, to work with more parents and more staff members."

The NAACP also applauded the election of Vik Srinivasan to the school board. He's now the only member of color on the board, which is something the NAACP was pushing for to represent minority students within the district.

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