Protesters use cars to block school buses from leaving Detroit depot

Posted at 8:06 AM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-20 08:06:24-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Protesters have convened outside of the Detroit bus depot once again on Monday protesting the Detroit Public Schools Community District decision for in-person summer school classes.

On Monday, the protesters had a new tactic to block buses from leaving the depot – by using cars to block the road that buses would leave from.

They gathered last week and stopped the buses from leaving the terminals.

Still, the district’s superintendent is standing strong – saying in-person summer classes are needed for the families that requested it – and that it can be done safely.

This group of protesters say it’s too soon to send kids back to class – that the public health risk isn’t worth it.

Several people were arrested last week at the protests. Police said the protesters were arrested due to affecting district operations and demonstrating in an area that was enforced by Detroit police, not the district.

On Wednesday, a civil lawsuit was brought against the district for allowing in-person summer school classes during the pandemic. Filed by teachers, students and parents, the lawsuit is asking for an emergency injunction to end in-person classes immediately.

DPSCD Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti responded to the lawsuit saying, "Our summer school program offers students, parents, and teachers a voluntary face to face or online K-12 educational option. No student, parent, or teacher was required to participate face to face. Voluntary face to face summer school is allowable under Michigan COVID safe reopening phases and our safety plan meets any reopening of school requirements as described by the federal or state government, including the Governor’s “Return to Learn Task Force” requirements. We are offering the same face to face services to children and families as over 300 daycares are to Detroit children in the city. In fact, our COVID safety standards exceeds daycare safety standards. If we are not legally able to provide face to face instruction to students this summer then the assumption should be that schools cannot legally reopen in the fall or in the near future throughout the country or in the state of Michigan.”