Michigan parents will be protesting at the state capitol Saturday to pressure Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to reopen schools.
Unlike other orders, Whitmer said in January that she would like schools to reopen on March 1 but did not mandate it. Many schools remain closed or are opting for hybrid models in which students remain home most of the week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
A group called Huron Valley Schools Parent Advocates (HVSPA) is hoping a rally Saturday will create the force necessary to get the governor to back down, as she did in February by authorizing winter contact sports.
“We support families who feel it is best for their children to learn in a virtual model. We know that this is working for some kids,” organizer Jessica Mathiak told Breitbart News.
“But in districts like Huron Valley Schools, where 80 percent of families surveyed wanted full time face to face learning, we were not listened to. That is why it is crucial that parents must always have a seat at the table,” she said.
The protest will take place Saturday, March 6, at the capitol in Lansing at 3:00 p.m. HVSPA said heath care professionals, principals, administrators, teachers, students, state senators, and congressional representatives will be speaking.
HVSPA said all will be “advocating for the immediate reopening of all schools five days face-to-face in the state of Michigan.”
“The varying degrees of what each district is doing will continue to disenfranchise those students, of all ages, who need the support and resources that only in-person school can offer,” Mathiak told Breitbart News.
“Our kids continue to fall behind. Districts are making up the most ridiculous plans that are not based on science at all,” she said.
“And then you have districts, like Kalamazoo Public Schools, who refuse to offer in-person learning at all for the remainder of the school year,” Mathiak said.
Another large district, Ann Arbor Public Schools, also has no plans to return to in-person learning. The teachers unions’ power is strong in both districts.
“We need the legislature and the governor to take action. Now. We cannot continue to lose children to suicide because of these unnecessary closures,” Mathiak said, referring to two students’ suicides in southeast Michigan last week.
“We need real leaders who put kids first. From local school boards all the way to the President; we need your help. This is the crisis we all need to care about. Save our kids. Open our schools,” she said.