METRO DETROIT (WXYZ) — The first day of school for the Warren Consolidated School district in Macomb County is just days away and parents are eager to know their kids are safe and on board with the district’s decision on masking.
What we’re seeing play out here in Metro Detroit is communities divided.
"I support a mandate because I have young children that are five years old and they can't be vaccinated," one protestor said. "Masking keeps them safe and our community safe, and on a personal level, my cousin was the first child to die in Michigan of covid. Skylar Herbert was our cousin."
As the new school year starts, and still no approved vaccine for kids under 12, these Macomb County parents are begging county leaders to require masks in schools.
"We see it. We hear it," County Executive Mark Hackel said.
Hackel says right now, decisions will be left up to individual districts.
Oakland County has already announced that masks will be required inside their schools this fall.
"We will not comply. We will not comply," one protestor said.
According to Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, the CDC deemed Oakland County a high transmission area. They strongly recommended mask mandates.
But Unlike Oakland County where vaccination rates amongst kids outpace the state, Macomb County is lagging a bit compared to the rest of Michigan. A little more than 25 percent of kids 12-15 are fully vaccinated compared to the state’s 30 percent.
Policy expert Skip Mongo says a decision like a mask mandate would be made by a county executive or a similar elected leader.
"You enforce it. Like every other law and or ordinance," he said.
This comes along with promises from so many not to follow certain mandates.
"Save our children. Unmask them," protestors screamed.
The CDC along with many local doctors have come out in support of masking in schools given the current infection rates. But unhappy parents are making their voices heard. Many protesting outside of the Macomb County Health Department in opposition to the mandates.