Grissom Middle School Principal Joseph Konal presents Parkash Bedi with a plaque that honors Bedi’s late daughter, who once attended Grissom in Sterling Heights. They are joined by Grissom Assistant Principal Jodi Samp, and Bedi’s wife, Aruna, of Troy.

Grissom Middle School Principal Joseph Konal presents Parkash Bedi with a plaque that honors Bedi’s late daughter, who once attended Grissom in Sterling Heights. They are joined by Grissom Assistant Principal Jodi Samp, and Bedi’s wife, Aruna, of Troy.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Grissom’s Grizzly Den pays tribute to former student

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published June 17, 2019

  Grissom Middle School students and staff gather around Parkash and Aruna Bedi in the Grissom Grizzly Den, which, on June 12 was dedicated to Bedi’s daughter, Anu Bedi. Anu Bedi was a student at Grissom when she, her mother and her brother were killed on June 23, 1985, when suspected terrorists blew up the aircraft in which they were flying.

Grissom Middle School students and staff gather around Parkash and Aruna Bedi in the Grissom Grizzly Den, which, on June 12 was dedicated to Bedi’s daughter, Anu Bedi. Anu Bedi was a student at Grissom when she, her mother and her brother were killed on June 23, 1985, when suspected terrorists blew up the aircraft in which they were flying.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Each time Grissom Middle School students and staff use the Grissom Grizzly Den for school events, meetings and more, the memory of former student Anu Bedi will live on.

On the morning of June 12, members of the school community gathered to dedicate the Grissom Grizzly Den in Bedi’s honor. Grissom is part of Warren Consolidated Schools, and the grizzly is the school’s mascot.

Bedi was a student at Grissom when she; her mother, Saroj; and her brother Jatin, were killed June 23, 1985, when suspected terrorists blew up the aircraft in which they were flying. Air India Flight No. 182 was traveling from Montreal, Canada, to New Delhi, India, when tragedy struck over the Atlantic Ocean, about 120 miles off the coast of Ireland.  

Anu’s father, Parkash Bedi, of Troy, has found solace in making monetary donations over the years to the school district that in turn benefit the students. Bedi has since remarried and attended last week’s dedication with wife Aruna Bedi and friends Parm and Iqbal Sohi, of Toronto. The group was greeted by several students and staff members, including WCS Superintendent Robert Livernois, who thanked Bedi for all he has done for the school.

“On behalf of our community, I appreciate it very much,” Livernois said.

“This is my privilege. The more I do it, the more satisfied I get,” Bedi said. “I’m very thankful to the school. It’s all about the kids.”

Bedi, who also has ties to the district’s Susick Elementary School in Troy, has helped fund school assemblies, award programs and more. Making donations has helped him heal, he said. During the dedication, two memorial plaques were unveiled in Anu Bedi’s honor that will hang in the Grizzly Den.

“She is remembered. She is loved,” Grissom Principal Joseph Konal read from the plaque. “Mr. Bedi felt the need to address missing his family. He is a generous man. We thank you for your generosity and your openness.”

During his visit, Bedi spoke with many of the students.

“The sadness is always there. I miss (them) every minute of my life. When you’re growing up in life, a lot of things do happen. My kids are watching me, which encourages me to live on every day,” Bedi said. “This has given me hope and survival. If you see the positive side, there are people who might be worse than you are. Always take the positive side. Never take the negative side.”

A memorial mural had previously been painted in the Grissom media center to remember the family. In addition to all Bedi has done for the district, he also holds the annual Jatin Bedi Memorial Tournament in memory of his son in New Delhi. The event raises money for educational scholarships.

The Grizzly Den is a classroom that students use for a variety of reasons, including problem solving among peers, communication between each other and for the school’s Where Everybody Belongs, or WEB, program.

“The Grizzly Den came about as a way for kids to meet as a group to address the social and emotional well-being of our students,” Konal said.

“We’re trying to develop a sense of community in the school,” Grissom Assistant Principal Jodi Samp said.

WEB, for example, is a middle school orientation and transition program. Grissom uses it to welcome incoming sixth grade students in an effort to make them feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience. The eighth grade students are trained to mentor the younger students.

The room also will provide teachers with a spot to instruct their students in a different setting. The Grizzly Den contains a couple of stuffed teddy bears and decorations hanging from the ceiling. Staff and students also made various art pieces to resemble trees and other items you might see in a forest.

Hagopian World of Rugs, in Birmingham, donated a rug for the room, and a monetary donation from Bedi was used to purchase several benches on which students can sit. Suzanne Sherwood, who is Samp’s secretary, sewed covers for the benches.

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