Russ Gibb at Random

A Fordson Student ...writes

January 6, 2007

I am a Junior at Fordson. I have been at FHS sense 9th Grade. I came to Fordson from Woodworth. I linked to this blog from another web page talking about Mr. Fadlallah. I have an opinion I would like to say about Fordson students and the Principals and teachers.

I think there is way too much covering up for trouble makers. We all know there are some students who do whatever they want because they are related to, or parents are friends of one of the Principals or teachers. This is not made up, this happens. I saw an Iraqi kid and a Lebanese kid get into a fight and the Iraqi got OSS for 10 days and the Lebanese kid got only ISS for 1 day and he started it and beat the Iraqi down. The Lebanese kid was one of the principals buddies and always gets off.

The reason we cant get to class on time is because the Counselors at Fordson have our classes all screwed up. How can someone get from A hall to F hall in 5 minutes through tons of people. Back in the day, there used to be doors to go through at the end of B hall to get to G hall so students could get C hall and F hall and D hall and gym, but now the new building is there and we cant do it anymore because there it too many people going up and down the stairs to the new building. Why is it the teachers fault? Sometimes I run and get in trouble for running from the security guards, and than I am late to class. Rather than blame the teachers and students, why cant he talk to who is causing students to have to go through a million people in 5 minutes to get a mile away through a croud. The building has way too many students. Its like being at a pistons game when the game is over and people are trying to get out. You have to move with the slow mob of people to get anywhere and people are standing around goofing off holding up everyone.

Why do students from Detroit come to Fordson? I know many people who walk across Greenfield or go across Tireman to go home. I know a lot of students who live in Detroit who go to Fordson. A lot of the them are not good students and some are trouble makers. Why cant they go to school where they live? I also know that the Principals know who does it too and one of the kids was related to a Principal. Why does our school have to be over filled when it does not have to be?

Why do all the smart students have to leave Fordson and go to the Berry School? We have the same classes they do, but they leave Fordson for half the day to go to Berry. Why doesnt Berry take the screw ups too? Its not fair that our school is getting bad scores because Berry is getting all our smart kids. They tried to get me to go for drafting, but I didnt want to and my Counselor tried to tell me I had to. My mom had to stop her. Thats not fair. Than I got stuck in welding shop when I didnt even want it.

Why are all the good teachers leaving Fordson? The best teachrs from last year left and the year before went to Dearborn and Edsel. We lost our Football coach too and now no one knows who is going to coach the football team here. That sucks! Stergalas was the best and now hes gone.

I am not the best speller or athlete and I am not the best English student either. Im good at math and science and we need the best teachers here at Fordson just like they do at Dearborn and Edsel. 3 of my classes are tought by people who cant control the kids. They throw stuff and swair and spit seeds everywhere and I hate it in those classes. Why cant someone find out why everyone wants to go and how to fix it so good teachers come here. I dont know if its all Mr. Fadlallahs fault, but he is the one in charge. We deserve a good school with good teachers and good coaches and people who belong here, not people who dont. Trouble makers should get OSS like everyone else even if they are related to the Principal or a teacher.

Why cant anyone understand any of this stuff? I thought the school board was supposed to be doing things to make our school better. Its not better and its going to get a lot worse if everyone leaves and all that is left is people who dont know what they are doing.

--by Fordson tractor 08 on 1/6/07 Lives: Dearborn

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23 Comment(s)

This "tractors" spelling is a little weak. But give this young person a hearing. I give this Fordson student an A. Thank you for speaking up.

--by Sara Carpinski on 1/6/07   Lives: Detroit area  

As a teacher at Fordson, I can tell you the #1 complain of my colleagues and I is that there is absolutely ZERO discipline in the building. In some cases, for students to develop the necessary life skills related to self-discipline, they need to understand that there are consequences for their behavior. Too many tardies? Something has to happen. Get in a fight? Something has to happen. Don't turn in your homework? Something has to happen.

What we are seeing at Fordson is quite the opposite -- not only is nothing happening, but we are blaming the teaching staff for the students' and administrators' shortcomings. If a kid is tardy to my class 20 times in 25 days I don't want to hear that I am not doing my job. Part of life is being able to manage your time -- it requires the aforementioned self-discipline. A referral to the office for attendance issues is treated as an indictment of the teacher who writes it. And that is a directive from Imad Fadlallah, who sent an e-mail to the entire staff admonishing their complicity in the attendance problems.

Fordson is not a bad place to work -- 95% of the students are there for all the right reasons and doing all the right things. However, the administration is allowing the other 5% to run out-of-control, which is creating misery for everybody else (remember, with 2700 students, that's 135 kids running out-of-control). Some of that is related to the "special relationship" Imad Fadlallah has with the community and the parents of that special 5%. He simply refuses to deal with the problem. In fact, discipline is not supposed to be his job at all. That's what assistants are for.

Like any building, we have some great teachers and some not-so-good ones. No one is going to claim that everyone is doing a great job. However, we have an administrative team with almost no real teaching experience. They are not able to enter a classroom and help someone improve their teaching skills -- they don't know how to teach in the first place. Add in the fact that 3/4 of the administrators came from a middle school, and you have a problem. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that the same "tricks of the trade" that work in a middle school are ineffective when dealing with high school students, who are much more mature.

My suggestion: wholesale changes at the top. A completely new administrative team that does not have any significant ties to the community, but does have significant experience with high schools. Someone who can be impartial. Otherwise, the mass exodus will continue. I know my transfer is in.

--by Reality on 1/6/07   Lives: Dearborn  

I think reading this post is just about enough to get me to finally speak about this...

In the 05-06 school year in Fordson a gay student who's parents were conservative Muslims got hit by a car right in front of school. Not surprisingly, the car was being driven by a more "popular" student who had often teased him for being gay.

The gay student ended up lucky considering he was hit by a car, receiving only minor injuries. A number of other students who worked in the office and were around noticed the principle had the police question him in the open. When the officer asked if there were any reasons or motives he thought the kid ran him over for, the gay student sat silent while surrounded by his peers. In a community where the student eyes and ears are not so different from the parents', there was no safety in the open.

For the gay student it was double suicide. To admit to being gay would be asking for his family to disown him. Staying silent, however, simply set the precedent that other kids could do whatever they wanted to him and he would not stand up to them.

To this day he won't talk about the incident to people he doesn't trust. I've tried to explain that if he contacted the Triangle foundation they would give him legal protection and the numerous Gay support groups in the area like PFLAGS and the HRC would be able to help him out with having a place to live and maybe even continue schooling.

The fear is too strong, though. I've lost a lot of my hope in the conservative Muslim communities because of incidents like this.

--by student on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  


I hate to be the one to break it to you, but gay tolerance in the conservative Muslim community is a far cry from the immediate and resounding problems at FHS. We have leadership problems and issues within this school that affect over 2500 students, their families, and over a hundred teachers, counselors and administrators as well as the community at large and you respond with the issue of gay tolerance in the conservative Muslim community as it applies to Fordson to cry about?

How much more convoluted could can this discussion become when gay Muslims chime in for consideration? If you’re looking for a platform to embolden gay rights among conservative Muslims, I fear you have picked the worst possible place to interject this argument. In addition to being in, perhaps, the most miniscule minority there could possibly be in this school, there was a Police investigation to address the issue. What more do you want? Do gay issues deserve more consideration than anyone else who gets hit by a car while car while illegally crossing a busy highway because that’s what happened. Why would the administration of Fordson have anything to do with it anyway? Because they were both students at FHS? Sorry, if gays want to be treated the same, you have to undergo the same due process that we all do and the accident was not on school property. It’s a Police issue plain and simple.

--by Sorry Charley on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Re: "Sorry Charley"

Setting forth a gay platform or agenda did not appear to be the intention of the student's post above. The issue was one of tolerance and sensitivity by an employee of the taxpayers. Whatever opinion Muslims have toward homosexuality, it is irrelevant in a public school. If it is true that this was a harassment issue which spilled over from school, even though not committed on school property, it is still an issue to be addressed with dignity and with absolute concern. The administrators are responsible for the safety of ALL students, not just those with whom they share a political, ethical, or religious viewpoint. If a student had been subject to some sort of physical sexual harassment, would it be appropriate to question the student about it in an open office full of staff and students?

Talk about convoluted arguments, you missed the boat.

--by Concerned for all on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

I'm sorry for the long post, but this just hit a nerve and apparently I need to clarify myself:

I don't think there's any way to make an outcry for Muslim support for gays, and I'm certainly not doing it. However, this is a story that I know personally because I've come in contact with many Fordson students including this one in particular. For someone so concerned with Fordson's issues it seems foolish to ignore one problem over another considering this is the exact type of attitude that HURTS Fordson to this day.

Also, If I may add, apathy to others is NOT exactly helping your case, Mr. Sorry Charley. I posted one individual story and you're criticism is useless at best. Even if you don't like Mr. Fadlallah, I must admit that your penchant for fabrication and distortion without any idea of "what's going on" are pretty similar:

The accident DID happen on School Property. This was not happening on a "busy highway", it happened in between the school parking lot and the school on the walkway. The student was amongst numerous others while traffic was halted. The person who drove his car into him started from 20 feet away and was only able to hit him because he was on the edge of the moving group of students. The other students were lucky as well that none of THEM got hit.

Please do not LIE or MAKE UP the facts when you were clearly NOT THERE or spoke with ANYONE who was! It's bad enough we have ONE Mr. Fadlallah around, we don't need more of his type signing their name *Sorry Charley*!

I have a few good friends from Fordson and It's disgusting what goes on in there. I could write pages upon pages just about the common problems I hear from all the kids coming out of there. This incident isn't even the worst, but it's one that brings out a lot of anger in me just to think of, let alone write.

I was fortunate to go to DHS, but FHS should be something of a blessing too. Now it's become a curse, and only naysayers and the apathetic can claim to be the real reason for it. We've had plenty of time to fix the issues at Fordson but yet they linger on.

We don't need to be critical since we all know things aren't going well there, we need to be asking ourselves:

"Who is responsible and how do we fix the damage done?"

--by Student on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Perhaps Mr. Fadllalah should spend more time at Fordson and less time in the Middle East during the school year. By the way, I hope that both of his trips that resulted in multiple days off, were taken without pay!

--by Taxpayer on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

My heart goes out to the student who wrote the original post (Fordson Tractor 08) and others like him. How can we do this to our youth?

--by LayLo on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Two, Major problems at Fordson. 1, Over crowding 2. Nepotism . Why doesnt Dr Artist do something about these two issues?

--by Fordson parent on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

I think part of the problem is that the students aren't allowed to go out for lunch anymore and have a slice of DeMarco's pizza.

--by Fordson Burnout on 1/7/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Dear Student,

If you can convince the Fordson student to speak out (anonymously) to the press, I think that it would be beneficial. Not to demean Mr. Gibb's website (which has been a largely non-biased publication in its own right for a while now), but the press may be able to get their hands on the police report filed and speak to some of the officers involved, if not students and faculty. They might be able to publicize the facts about this incident without risk of further harm to the student. If he is unwilling to go to the Free Press or News (who might not listen anyway) maybe the student could contact one of the education reporters at one of our local papers. At the Press and Guide, the ed. reporter is Jason Carmel Davis. I'm not sure what the phone is, but they have an office on Park Street near military. The Times-Herald has a guy named Andrew Dervartanian, and their number is 584-4000. At least, continue to try to get him to contact a support group.

Good luck!

--by Anonymous on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  


I've tried so hard, trust me. Any kind of admission would be something progressive as far as I'm concerned. The problem is how much fear this boy has.

Coming out is hard enough, the fear and anxiety of wondering "Will everyone hate me?", particularly in the teenage years. The fact he was raised in an environment where his parents and siblings threatened not much short of death were he to admit he was gay only makes it worse. At this point I've given up on trying to get him to speak out because of how much damage has been done.

The best I can do at the moment is just be a good friend and prove that not everyone who knows he's gay wants to run him over.

However, I agree, this is something that needs to be dealt with. Only he can bring this out, but fear is such a powerful tool for silence.

--by Student on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Mr. Gibb,

Fordson isn't the only high school in Dearborn that has nepotism and student problems. It is virtually impossible for teachers to teach when kids are disruptive. Sometimes, parents are no help either. Principals have too many problems and can not find time to support teachers. Nepotism clouds the issues only 30% of the time.

I bet you want to how to fix the problem? Let the Berry trade school should become a remedial school for kids that misbehave. If they cause chaos and problems, send them to Berry trade school.


--by ANONYMOUS on 1/8/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Nepotism clouds the issues only 30% of the time

Problem with this statement is that the 30% of the time that nepotism interferes with the disciplinary process it happens to be 100% obvious and apparent and becomes the focus of the entire disciplinary system. It invalidates and diminishes the confidence teachers have in the administration. Now does everyone understand why 95% of the staff at FHS thinks Fadlallah is a joke! Does everyone understand why no one has a shred of confidence in leadership at FHS?

Apparently, the students, teachers and parents who are not on Fadlallahs "buddy list" know this and so does the board and Superintendent. No one is willing to step out of line and bring it to light because, god forbid, the district should take action against an Arabic administrator. There would not be enough hours in the day to read all the blue cards that would end up on Sharon Dulmadge's desk at board meetings.

--by the Crow on 1/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  

The district doesn\'t take action against any administrator; thay don\'t have to be Arabic. Remember Bryant? I predict that Imad Fadllalah will have a desk next to Marc Zigterman at Central Office in the near future.

--by Taxpayer on 1/9/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Imad's chair can be anywhere as long as it is out of Fordson.

--by Teacher on 1/10/07   Lives: Michigan  

Dear Student,

In that case, thank you for supporting your friend. Hopefully your positive attitude and support will influence those around you.

--by Anonymous on 1/10/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Imad Fadlallah has a huge support group, bigger than you can imagine. His chair will stay exactly where it is and will not move any where. The person who wrote that there will not be enough time to read all of the blue cards on Sharon Dulmage's desk is absolutely right. I'm glad all of you know that.

--by The Tractor on 1/10/07   Lives: Dearborn  

The Tractor:
Legal support? (Imad F) Your posting reads more like a threat than just informative.

--by Interested bystander on 1/11/07   Lives: Michigan  

Don't act like you are confused mr. Bystander, you know I mean community support.

--by The tractor on 1/18/07   Lives: Dearborn  

Don't act like you are confused mr. Bystander, you know I mean community support.

--by The tractor on 1/18/07   Lives: Dearborn  

I agree with the Junior at Fordson, I hear the same things about the Principal and some of these students from my son who is now a Senior, I sent my son to the Berry Center for his last year so he would not have to put up with most of these obnoxious students and incompetent staff members, what happened to the good old days when teachers and staff were straight? Most all staff members that I have talked with do not know how to do there job, that's sad. Fire them!! Hire some people who know how to teach, away with the pal in Principal! He's not a pal to everyone, hint hint.

--by A Fordson mom on 1/24/07   Lives: Dearborn  

I went to fordson from 2005-2009 its a good school but the principal was accused of stuff he didnt do. Albeit he probably did create some problems with teachers. He wscnot anti christian.

--by Hassan Elghoul on 12/20/14   Lives: Dearborn  

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