Whitmer sends letter to Benton Harbor Area School Board
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- On Tuesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer responded to the Benton Harbor Area School Board’s decision to not accept the state’s plan to close down the high school.
Whitmer says she’s willing to collaborate with the Board in a letter sent out this afternoon:
The Governor says that despite the board’s rejection, she still believes the state proposal to close down the high school has value and would ultimately benefit the whole community.
The letter goes on to say that Whitmer will work with the board to find a solution to the district’s financial and academic challenges that is achievable.
But, the governor made it clear that the state would take serious action if the board does not meet certain benchmarks in any final agreement.
Benton Harbor residents are saying Whitmer’s reaction is a step in the right direction to keep BHHS running.
“We’re gonna take a stand and stand. When we can’t stand, we’ll stand anyhow until we win,” said Benton Harbor native Arie Guidry. “I feel we’re gonna have a victory. God’s gonna give it to us.”
Felicia Smith works at Benton Harbor High School; she is the equipment manager for the athletic department. She wants the school to stay open, no matter what it takes.
“They need to just stick to what they say they’re gonna do, why close the school when you have the solution to help us,” Smith said. “It’s a part of us, I’m a part of that school, I’m an alumni so if it closes, that’s going to be devastating to our city and our children because we need something that belongs to us.”
Mayor Marcus Muhammad and members of the BHAS Board were not available for comment regarding Whitmer’s response.