American Federation of Teachers president calls for schools to fully reopen in the fall

Michigan allows each individual district to decide how to proceed with school year amid pandemic

Teachers' union president calls for schools to reopen this fall
Teachers' union president calls for schools to reopen this fall

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updating its mask-wearing and COVID-19 testing guidance, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) said all children should be back in school full-time in the fall.

“Conditions have changed. We can and we must reopen schools in the fall for in-person teaching, learning and support. And we must keep them open, fully and safely, five days a week,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten.

READ: Pfizer vaccinations begin for children 12-15 across Metro Detroit

The AFT gives teachers a heads up on where their union leadership is headed in its decision making, also echoing a message from U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.

“There is no reason to wait any longer,” Cardona said.

With the availability of the vaccine for children between ages 12 and 15, as well as teachers who’ve had access to the vaccine and mitigation measures, children need to be in school, according to the CDC, which has been advocating for in-person learning since December.

The CDC cites evidence that schools are not a major source of COVID-19 transmission.

Michigan has allowed each individual district to decide how to proceed with the school year during the pandemic and some have built a consensus with their communities of parents and educators while others have active recalls going against their various boards of education.

Michigan’s mask mandate still in effect, despite new CDC guidelines

The CDC issued new guidelines on Thursday, essentially dropping its recommendations for mask use in most indoor and outdoor settings, if you’re fully vaccinated.

But guidelines are just that -- guidelines. Michigan, like 24 other states, still has a mask mandate in effect.

As it stands, in Michigan, residents are required to wear masks at all indoor non-residential or public gatherings, outdoor events with less than 100 people, youth camps and sporting events, restaurants and more. (Full FAQ here).

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About the Authors:

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.