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Parents call for removal of Northville School Board President following comments downplaying COVID-19

Social media posts cause concern over upcoming school year
Posted at 5:32 AM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 06:49:23-04

NORTHVILLE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Northville’s school board president continues to face backlash over posts to his personal Facebook page — specifically those downplaying coronavirus.

On Monday night, the school board heard from parents and students — many of whom now want the president off the job.

No action was taken during Monday night’s virtual meeting, which was overseen by the school board president, Matthew Wilk.

On top of a lot of criticism pointed at him Monday night, there’s also now a petition circulating for Wilk to resign over the posts.

"As others have mentioned, this is not only incorrect, it is also incredibly harmful and potentially dangerous to the community at large."

During Monday's public portion of Northville’s school board meeting, an alumni calls out the board president over posts to his personal Facebook page, some of which are COVID-19 conspiracy theories.

It started this past weekend, when parents, alumni, and even another board members called out Matthew Wilk for posts suggesting the coronavirus “...only exists in falsified statistics shouted on the news without context.”

Another post read: “How about we allow schools to re-open and grandma can take the extreme precautions? She can wear a space suit when she “needs” to go out and shop and the rest of world can go about their lives….”

“My 92-year-old grandma is not going in a space suit," said one critic.

“I am uncomfortable with someone who should be making decisions that are apolitical that should be unbiased clearly having a very biased opinion.”

Wilk, who oversaw Monday night’s meeting, didn’t return our calls for a comment this weekend but has since said “his views are his own.”

"I firmly believe that someone like Mr. Wilk, who doesn't take this deadly pandemic seriously should not play a role in decisions regarding reopening schools."

This is not the first time someone in a leadership role has been called out for their personal social media posts — 7 Action News has seen it in local law enforcement this summer as well, with the debate over re-opening schools very heated right now.

There will be another board meeting Tuesday night, where we expect this will again be discussed.

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.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.