Social media post casts doubt on future of Benton Harbor High School

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) - A social media post is casting doubt on the future of Benton Harbor High School by suggesting the school may not have one.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Benton Harbor High School alumnus and Benton Harbor Mayor Marcus Muhammad said he “cannot in any shape, form or fashion support the dissolution of Benton Harbor High School.”

The post goes on to say, “This is a reckless misadventure and will become a millstone around the administration of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. It will serve as the flash point to the complete unraveling of public education for predominantly Black, Hispanic and poor communities.”

NewsCenter 16 spoke briefly with Muhammad Thursday face-to-face. The mayor confirmed he wrote the post but refused to elaborate at this point in time.

The information came as a surprise to mayoral candidate Jamie Davis, who said this is one issue on which he and the incumbent agree.

“Yes, I agree with the current mayor and everyone else that doesn't want to see the school system dissolved. It would be a great disservice to the school, to the children and this area,” Davis said. “I would hope that it is impossible, but then again, from the way it looks, I see that the superintendent is up for another position, possibly a high position somewhere else.”

Benton Harbor Area Schools Superintendent and CEO Dr. Robert Herrera has been named one of two finalists for a superintendent position in the Farmington Public Schools.

This is not the first time mention has been made of dissolving one or more Benton Harbor school.

Earlier this month, the Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution that mentioned “great emotional and financial hardship if the school district is dissolved due to living expenses, transportation challenges, loss of legacy, agency, and jobs."

The resolution also discussed the possible loss of election polling places that limit the community’s ability to participate in the voting process.

In the post, Muhammad wrote that he plans to hold a press conference on the matter in the future with clergy, alumni and concerned residents.