Ann Arbor high school students to protest Saturday, demand return to schools

School lockers. (Pixabay)

ANN ARBOR – High schoolers have organized a rally to take place at Skyline High School on Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. calling for the return to in-person learning.

The move comes days after the Ann Arbor School Board made a motion to direct Superintendent Dr. Jeanice Kerr Swift to recommend that the majority of students remain in a virtual setting for the rest of the year.

If Swift’s recommendation passes at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, students with the greatest needs will still return to school buildings at the end of March, according to the motion.

Read: Ann Arbor School Board releases statement on upcoming vote to stay virtual

“My classmates and I are trying in every way possible to change this decision and have the opportunity to finish our senior year in person surrounded by our friends,” said one of the student organizers in a statement.

“I created a Google form asking Ann Arbor students to express how they feel about online school and if they want to go in person. Within an hour, I received almost 200 responses from students expressing how badly they want to return to in-person classes.

“Through this Google form, I have learned just how many teenagers are struggling with mental health. Many are in dire situations, battling depression, anxiety, and continuously decreasing motivation.”

Read: Washtenaw County Superintendents call to increase COVID-19 vaccines for teachers

According to an event flyer, participants are asked to practice social distancing, wear masks, bring snacks, dress warm and make signs.

Parent group Ann Arbor Reasonable Return raised over $30,000 in less than 24 hours to establish a political action committee against the Ann Arbor School Board over its quick motion to potentially change its return to school plan it laid out in January.

Related reading:

Ann Arbor School Board will vote next week on plan to continue virtual learning through end of year

Hundreds of physicians, psychologists call for Ann Arbor Public Schools to reopen

Parents call for schools to reopen at rally in downtown Ann Arbor

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.