from the Detroit News

Thursday, November 18, 1999

                     Detroit students get unruly during second rape walkout
                     Schools chief urges punishment, possible student suspensions.

                    By Brian Harmon and George Hunter / The Detroit News

                         DETROIT -- High school students again skipped
                     classes Wednesday and hit the streets to vent frustration
                     over the rapes of nine girls, attacked this fall while walking
                     to or from school.
                         But this group's demonstrations were rowdier than the
                     larger, coordinated protests Tuesday by high-schoolers
                     across the city. Police detained at least five students from
                     Denby and Finney high schools because of fights,
                     vandalism and shoplifting Wednesday. One teen-ager was
                     arrested, police said.
                         The more than 2,000 students who participated in the
                     first day of walkouts do not face disciplinary action.But
                     David Adamany, chief executive of Detroit Public
                     Schools, is encouraging principals to punish students who
                     demonstrated during school hours Wednesday.
                         Meanwhile, a 16-year-old Osborne High School
                     student may have thwarted another assault attempt. The
                     girl told police she was waiting for a city bus Wednesday
                     morning when a man approached and demanded she get
                     in his car. The girl blew a whistle, which brought local
                     merchants out of their shops, and the man drove away.
                         One of those facing punishment for his street protest
                     Wednesday is junior Jaisyn Walker, who said Finney
                     High administrators told him he'll likely be suspended for
                     walking out of school about 10 a.m. for nearly three hours
                     with hundreds of schoolmates.
                         "We couldn't walk out Tuesday because we only had a
                     half-day of school. So we walked out today," said
                     Walker, 18. "They really should not suspend us, because
                     we were protesting for the safety of our students."
                         Students from Cody, Henry Ford and Osborn high
                     schools also skipped classes. About 500 students left the
                     five schools, a district spokesman said.
                         "The students got everyone's attention on Tuesday. It
                     doesn't make sense to walk out today," said Candace
                     Howard, a Finney senior who stayed in class.
                         Alma Myers, whose daughter, Crystal, is a freshman at
                     Murray-Wright High, fears the orderly conduct during
                     Tuesday's demonstrations may be overshadowed by the
                     incidents Wednesday.
                         "The students have the public's attention. They should
                     keep it on a peaceful level, an intelligent level," Myers
                     said. "They need to do something that will appeal to the
                     politicians, because, after all, Election Day is coming up."
                         Thefts at the Diamond Market on Houston Whittier,
                     down the block from Denby High, were among the uglier
                     moments from Wednesday's demonstrations. Manager
                     Marvin Mikhaim said students stormed his east side shop.

                         "A bunch of them came in here and started throwing
                     things and stealing from me," Mikhaim said. "I tried to get
                     them to leave, but they started yelling at me and gave me
                     a hard time."
                         Mikhaim pointed to a row of empty shelves. "Those
                     kids stole a lot of merchandise from me: doughnuts, chips
                     and peanuts. I don't understand it. What does this have to
                     do with the rapes?"
                         The group of students continued down Houston
                     Whittier, pounding on doors and windows of stores.
                     Moussa Karambiri, manager of a nearby Total gas
                     station, said the students broke his door.
                         "They say they're out protesting. But what good does
                     breaking my door do? It isn't going to fix the problem,"
                     Karambiri said.
                         During the first day of protests, Mayor Dennis Archer
                     promised to beef up police vigilance in school
                     neighborhoods. Parents and students noticed more
                     officers Wednesday morning around such high schools as
                     Denby and Murray-Wright.
                         But as students walked home from those schools,
                     police presence was minimal.
                         "I saw a lot of cops this morning," said Denby
                     sophomore LaToiya Richardson. "But where are they
                         She pointed to an alley. "They should be patrolling that alley,
                    but I haven't seen one cop
                    car out here since school let out. Where are they?" Richardson said.
                         Connie Moore, whose son is a freshman at Denby, also saw many squad cars early
                         "But I haven't seen any of them out here this afternoon," she said. "I don't know what
                     happened. I didn't see any police at Columbus, either." Her 12-year-old son attends
                     Columbus Middle School on the east side.
                         "It's ridiculous," Moore said. "They said they were going to be out here. I don't
                     appreciate this."
                         Assistant Chief Charles Wilson, leading the beefed-up school patrol effort, said that
                     indeed more officers were in and around schools during the morning than in the afternoon.
                     "That's when most of the rapes have taken place," he said.

                Copyright 1999, The Detroit News