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Detroit's School Fighter

Since arriving as Detroit Public Schools' chief earlier this year, Robert C. Bobb has aggressively tackled corruption. That was on full display this morning in a downtown Detroit courtroom. Bobb made an unusual appearance at the sentencing hearing for Arsenio White, a 19-year-old 10th-grade dropout who'd been caught breaking into a school with two friends – apparently to steal computers.

That's no small matter in Detroit, where the school system – and the city itself – is on the brink of financial collapse. Bobb told the packed courtroom that already this year, nearly 500 school computers had been stolen, costing his system at least $600,000. “That should have been used to invest in our students,” he said, adding, “This young man has the opportunity to turn his life around.” The judge, then, essentially followed Bobb's suggestion: White was sentenced to three years of probation, partially served in a boot camp. Then, White must enroll in a Detroit public school program to earn his high school diploma. After his sentencing, White stood up and apologized to the court, the school system, and his parents, who were in the room.

Television cameras followed Bobb outside the courtroom. He said he'd attend other criminal hearings, if needed, to make clear that “the Detroit public schools isn't an electronics store.” Then, a local reporter asked Bobb about Fox News' Shephard Smith, who last night told his viewers: “If my kid were in Detroit I'd try to burn the place down,” an apparent reference to last week's news that Detroit public school students performed abysmally on a national test. In response to Smith, Bobb said: “To hell with him. Who the hell does he think he is? There's nothing wrong with these kids' minds. Maybe something's wrong with the adults.”

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  • 1

    I understand Bobb's reply and I acknowledge Smith's perspective as well.

    The DPS has/is toxic for students no one should have to tolerate the DPS and its legacy of failure etc.

    Bobb is grandstanding and playing to the all types of emotional issues folks have in this region to the DPS.

    Smith's posture is also warranted and just as grounded as Bobb's posturing. It should be noted both men have agenda's.

    I do affirm the outcome with regard to White's sentence..

    I continue to have an opinion that the students in DPS also have an obligation to step up as well. I am tired of "the pitiful woes is me mindset" I observe often with DPS students..Love of self is more important than anything Bobb or Smith have to offer up....

  • 2

    Bob Bobb does have an agenda. To root out all of the fools that have helped to destroy the credibility of the DPS. Yes he is brash, but that is exactly what the School board and parents in my fine city need., a kick in the Ass!
    The other fools, "raising" these kids need to wake up as well. Remember mom & pops whoopin' your butt when you acted a fool. Parents need to look no further than their own doorstep for the values that their kids learn.
    We live in the hood, but haven't given up all hope for ourselves or our kids. Wake up Detroit and make a difference on your own street. If we all did just that think of the better possibilities for Detroit. The problem is Lazy Ass parents, who'd rather be cool with their kids than actually do the work required to raise them.
    As for Mr. Smith....................................
    Kiss my @$$!!!!!

  • 3

    Robert C. Bobb

    The Real Deal! AND a lesson from the Art of War.

    THANK YOU for making the effort to make a positive difference in this young man's life while also reaffirming the message that continued illicit activities at DPS will not be tolerated.

    Too Mr. Smith, CATCH the WAVE of SWEEPING CHANGE in DETROIT. It is broad, deep and unmistakable while you sir are merely unremarkable.

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