MEA President Paula Herbart’s statement on shooting death of Patrick Lyoya

EAST LANSING — Michigan Education Association President Paula Herbart issued the following statement Thursday regarding the killing of Patrick Lyoya and the critical role educators play in fostering community conversations about social justice and equity:

“Like so many others, I was saddened and angered to watch the horrific video of Patrick Lyoya’s senseless death. These haunting images beg questions about our local and national work to achieve racial justice and policing that meets the inclusive needs of our communities. I know students will be asking those tough questions in classrooms across Michigan today.

“Educators play an important role in fostering the dialogue necessary to tear down the institutions of racism and foster inclusive spaces for Michigan students and educators — no matter where they are from or how they look. MEA and our members are committed to collaborating with students, families and the community at large to increase understanding and belonging, as well as developing more equitable systems.

“On behalf of educators throughout Michigan, I want to express our deepest sympathies to the family of Patrick Lyoya, our solidarity with marginalized communities who rightfully feel anger and grief at this latest tragedy, and our desire for justice as investigations proceed into Mr. Lyoya’s death.”

For News Media Home-Sidebar Newsroom Social Justice

8 thoughts on “MEA President Paula Herbart’s statement on shooting death of Patrick Lyoya

  1. He should not resist arrest. The cop would have no reason to draw his weapon had he cooperated.

  2. President Herbart,

    This is the kind of premature statement that demonizes the police and alienates our members who support the police. I wish MEA would work with me to help me keep my membership rather than drive them away. Keeping members is hard enough without unfounded pronouncements!

    This statement, by the MEA, is premature and intimates the officer was wrong in his actions. No findings have been made and this statement is ill-timed at best (too early) and reckless at worst. Educators should not be weighing in on these issues until findings have been announced. How do we retract/alter this statement if the officer is exonerated and his actions are deemed justified? 

    Please, stop driving members away. Please! I’ve been a staunch union supporter, attended nearly every training offered by MEA, been through the LPA training, bargained as a MEA SNAP, been the President of my EA unit for 15 years, held rank on our Executive Board and this statement will undermine the work local leaders like myself put in to keep our dues paying members. 

    I simply cannot abide by the timing and potential damage done by this statement!  Let the legal process play out before making statements!! Yes, the video is hard to watch. Yes, a man lost his life, but the officer was fighting for his life too! So many poor decisions were made in this event. Wait for a ruling!!

    Corey Shelton
    Proud Union Member

  3. Why are you even commenting on this? If this is your personal opinion, comment on your own private place not in public! Are all your teachers in Michigan in agreement with your opinion? I bet they are not! In that video I saw a young man who did not obey the orders calmly given to him MULTIPLE times. Had he done what he was asked nothing would of happened except maybe a ticket. The youngman took off running refused to stop, then was fighting the policeman and disregarding what he was asked to do. At any point he could of stopped and followed the officers comands. It would of stopped right there. He was getting the tazer away from the policeman. He could then taze the policeman, took his gun and shot anyone around them putting more citizens in harms way. Why do you think it is ok to not follow orders given by a policeman MULTIPLE times. I guess students in a classroom not following instructions is alright with you also. What is your agenda in writing this and making it public? This is why people are pulling their kids out of public schools. Shame on you for pushing your personal opinion!

  4. Disgusting! Can you please focus on education and not your political agendas.

  5. I’m curious when law enforcement issues became the concern of Michigan education? Furthermore, when did it become the stance of public education to treat children unequally, prioritizing some students over others?

  6. Once Patrick obtained control of the taser after he resisted arrest, how do you recommend the officer de-escalate the situation? Does anyone care about the lives of the officers who protect us every day?

  7. The MEA is lost. They need to stick to educating the children in the basics of reading, writing, math and history. Stay out of politics and concentrate on basics which they are so miserably failing at.

Comments are closed.


MEA member Melissa Lambert, a librarian at Allen Park High School, with MEA Vice President Brett Smith (center) and Allen Park Education President Joel Burkey.

Allen Park school librarian awarded top state honor

Thanks to the hard work and dedication of its school librarian, Allen Park High School’s library was recently recognized as Michigan’s 2023-24 “Model 21st Century School Library.” The Library of Michigan’s “Model SL 21” designation, awarded to one school library each year, recognizes “high-quality school libraries and library media specialists” and aims to replicate their […]

New survey: Student outbursts, threats pose challenge for teaching and learning environments

EAST LANSING — Michigan educators are facing significant challenges to both student learning and their own workplace satisfaction due to an increase in disruptive student behavior, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Michigan Education Association, the state’s largest educators union. A majority of educators surveyed reported experiencing student outbursts, damaged property or verbal […]