School confessional: ‘As teachers, we cannot avoid our students in the classroom’

We want to hear from you

The following is a response to our call for people to share thoughts and concerns about Michigan schools returning to in-person learning this fall.


“I have heard parents openly state that they will be sending their children back to school this fall without face masks. They will get a doctor’s note saying that their child cannot tolerate a mask, despite not having any underlying health conditions. In the area where I teach, there are a number of medical professionals who will do this without question. How do I and my fellow colleagues return to work and feel safe when a large number of our student population will not be masked up? We are offering a virtual learning opportunity, but these parents/students are opting for face-to-face with no mask. We have a teacher who is diabetic and has an insulin pump. We have another who cares for her father who has stage 4 cancer. They don’t have a choice about returning to work. When I think about those who refuse to wear a mask in public, I can at least avoid them. As teachers, we cannot avoid our students in the classroom.”

-- Anonymous

View more: School Confessionals


School confessionals: Share your thoughts, concerns about return to in-person learning

Michigan school districts, colleges and universities are working to prepare for a return to in-person classes this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In-person classes were stopped in March when the virus swept through Michigan. On June 30, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer revealed her plan to help schools across the state return to in-person learning this fall. The “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap” is a 63-page document that outlines coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols for each phase of Whitmer’s reopening plan.

The governor’s order requires each school district to adopt a COVID-19 plan that lays out how it will protect students and educators across the various phases of the Michigan Safe Start Plan. Whitmer’s roadmap is to be used as a guide.

This has everyone -- parents, teachers and students -- wondering whether this is a good idea, how well it can be accomplished, how safe everyone can be kept, and what exactly the best to do this will be.

Please share your thoughts and concerns about returning to in-person learning this fall -- we want to hear from you:

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.