Michigan teachers rally in Lansing for remote learning among uptick in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 12:29 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 12:29:06-04

A large group of teachers is pleading with Governor Gretchen Whitmer to keep schools closed.

Michigan teachers gather in Lansing to protest reopening schools

MI CORE argues that letting students back into classrooms too soon could move the state backwards.

The group rallied on the Capitol Lawn Thursday morning, calling on the governor for more federal funding to support students and teachers.

It’s been a heated debate amongst teachers and parents alike for weeks — many, including Pres. Trump argue that schools should re-open for face-to-face learning.

MI CORE represents more than 1,000 teachers. Hussein Beydoun, who teaches in Dearborn, is a founding member. He says with the case upticks we’re seeing now — face-to-face learning in a matter of weeks doesn’t make sense.

“We’ve seen so much you know cases and death since March without schools in session, without students in school," Beydoun said. "And what we can possibly imagine is going to happen when hundreds of thousands of Michigan students are back in the classroom.”

He’s arguing that until the state goes 14 days with no new cases — learning should be remote.

“Some districts like mine are going remote and keeping our students safe," Ann Arbor teacher Jennifer Garcia said. "Some don’t feel they have the means to do that or they’re going back with face-to-face, but they are not able to provide the safety recommendations and precautions that are outlined.”

Like having students wear masks, and keeping them 6 feet apart.

"I teach high school," Rochester Hills teacher Angela Lowry said. "I’ve got 39 kids in a class. It’s just not going to happen.”

Whitmer currently plans to leave re-opening decisions up to local districts, as long as the state doesn’t slide back into phase 3 of re-opening.

Tonight, Novi’s school board will vote on a back-to-school plan. As of now, the district wants to offer both virtual and in-person learning as long as the state remains in phase 4 — many area districts are preparing for a hybrid learning option in the fall.

Whereas Walled Lake Consolidated Schools announced this week it will begin the school year with virtual learning — as will Southfield.

Farmington Public School officials are also pushing for a remote start - they’ll present their recommendation to the school board next week.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

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