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Parents rally for face-to-face learning in Grosse Pointe

The district will transition to in-person learning when safe amid coronavirus pandemic

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – Dozens of parents gathered Sunday to protest the Grosse Pointe Public School System’s back-to-school plan.

The district made the decision to have all students start with remote learning.

While parents of Detroit students have protested against in-person school classes, Grosse Pointe parents rallied for the opposite.

Grosse Pointe school officials said they’re planning to get back into the classroom when it’s safe, but that wasn’t good enough for parents. Virus or not, parents protested to have their children back in school.

“The risk to them not being in school far outweighs the risk of COVID,” said one parent.

Aug. 9, 2020: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 87,403; Death toll now at 6,249

In a letter to parents, Grosse Pointe Public School System Superintendent Gary Niehaus said the district will start the school year with remote learning only, with a plan to gradually reintroduce students to in-person learning.

“It is going to take a major flattening of the curve or a vaccine for full time in-person learning to happen,” the letter said. “This is not easy, but we believe it is what’s best for kids.”

Parents claim keeping their children out of school would be harming them, not keeping them safe. They said they want a choice, like parents in Detroit or Novi.

RELATED: Here’s what Michigan school districts have planned for the fall amid the pandemic

The school district sent out a questionnaire for feedback from parents and staff during the summer to get their feelings on how to start the school year. While they noted what some parents wanted ultimately, the district said they just didn’t feel it was safe to return to class.


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