NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Student of color allegedly assaulted in Mount Pleasant Public Schools

Rick Brewer

A middle school student of color in the Mount Pleasant Public School system was allegedly assaulted by a staff member this week.

On Monday, an 11-year-old sixth grade student named Elyn was allegedly slapped in the face by a behavioral specialist for leaving the gymnasium without permission.

Three of Elyn’s friends who were with her at the time were also allegedly assaulted.

Christina Laster is the director of policy and legislation at the National Parent’s Union.

She said Mount Pleasant parents want to see staff held accountable.

“So they're looking for a criminal and civil remedy. And they are really exhausted and frustrated with the leadership that Jennifer Verleger as a superintendent and they want her to either be fired by the school board or to resign,” said Laster.

Laster said this is the third alleged assault against students of color in the Mount Pleasant School District in less than a year.

In a written statement, the Mount Pleasant Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Verleger said they have launched an investigation in partnership with the Mount Pleasant Police Department into the alleged assault.

The staff member has denied the allegations and has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

The district says it does not tolerate violence in its hallways.

Statement from Mount Pleasant Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Verleger:

Dear Mt. Pleasant Public School families,

We hope you enjoyed a restful and enjoyable Spring Break and got to spend some well-deserved time with friends and family.

We wanted to update you on an allegation regarding our middle school.

On April 4, 2022, we received a report that a group of students had allegedly been pushed or struck by a staff member at Mt. Pleasant Middle School. Our investigation in partnership with the Mt. Pleasant Police Department is ongoing and we will update our families and staff members when our review is complete. We’re reviewing pertinent information, including interviews with witnesses and affected individuals. The staff member, who has denied these allegations, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this investigation.

At Mt. Pleasant Public Schools, we will not tolerate violence in any form in our hallways, our buildings or on school grounds, in accordance with our district policies.

We strive to create a culture of civility, understanding, respect and tolerance as we provide all our students a world-class education.


Jennifer Verleger


Rick Brewer is a general assignment reporter covering central and northern Michigan for WCMU Public Radio.
Related Content
  • For years, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was an anomaly in lower Manhattan. The small church stood across the street from the twin towers of the World Trade Center, on some of the most valuable real estate in New York. But St. Nicholas church was destroyed by falling debris on September 11th. Now, rather than selling their land, the parishioners are pledging to rebuild the church as a monument to those who died. NPR's Melissa Block reports.
  • Joe Gutierrez, a 41-year veteran of the steel mills, has some stories to tell. He's one of the writers in a new book of short stories and poems penned by steelworkers.