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Northville School Board President makes controversial comments on COVID-19

Social media posts causes concern among parents over upcoming school year

NORTHVILLE, Mich. – A local school board president is in trouble for what he posted on Facebook, about the Coronavirus.

Northville Public School Board President Matthew Wilk’s Facebook page is getting a lot of attention after he suggested the coronavirus is a hoax. Part of that post states, ‘This pandemic exists only in falsified statistics, shouted on the news without context.’

“As a parent, and as a PTA President, I’m very disappointed,” said Ridge Wood Elementary PTA President Lisa McIntyre.

Lisa McIntyre, the PTA President for Ridge Wood Elementary in Northville couldn’t believe it, “I was very surprised, that he is our school board president.”

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Wilk also stated, ‘In the world we live in, where literally everything gets captured by a cell phone, where are the video diaries of Corona patients, as their health declines. Where are the video of panic in hospitals? – They don’t exist.’

He also suggests in a post the elderly can wear a spacesuit when they need to go out and shop and the rest of the world can go about their lives.

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“I wish that this wasn’t real,” said Dr. Rana Awdish with Henry Ford Hospital.

Doctor Rana Awdish with Henry Ford Hospital knows first hand the reality of COVID-19. She’s outraged by these statements. That’s because she’s also a Northville parent, “I was really disappointed to see that someone in a public position, in authority, would use the kind of rhetoric that discredits, science and government.”

Saturday, Wilk emailed this statement:

First of all, my opinions are, were and always have been my own, and not the position of the Northville Board of Education. I stand as one person on that body, which acts only as a collective.

As you may know, the Board is considering under what circumstances to re-open schools in the fall. There are many considerations involved in that decision, including how to best further the education of Northville’s children, including my own, in the safest way possible.

In connection with this decision, it is imperative to consider all viewpoints, not just the loudest or the most active on social media. I understand quite personally the struggle that people have been going through in these times. My own father, a 35-year educator, was stuck in a hospital for a week without a visitor; the loneliness was extremely difficult on him. Fortunately, he recovered, and I know that is not true for everyone. Our hearts go out to those impacted.

I look forward to the discussion of the Board as we review and develop the NPS school re-entry plan. I serve with some of the most caring and thoughtful board members, and I know that all of us are ill at ease with the downsides all of the proposed choices; there is simply no way to avoid all of them. COVID has been catastrophic and we have to make sure that we address it in the best way possible. To help, the district engaged an 130-person Task Force, who spent countless hours reviewing plans, guidance, and the practical considerations of school operations. They have put out a comprehensive plan, which is under review by the Board. I know that, with the help of our teachers, staff, administration and parents, NPS students will be given the best education in the safest possible way.

Sincerely,

Matthew J. Wilk

There’s also a petition for Wilk to resign. It can be found here.

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