State Rep. Gay-Dagnogo calls on Detroit school leaders to reconsider return plan

Detroit schools district plans to offer option of in-person, virtual learning

Stock image of school desks (Wokandapix/

DETROIT – Michigan State House Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo is calling on the Detroit public schools superintendent to reconsider the district’s plan to offer in-person classes at the start of this fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) has has been very clear that it has wanted parents to have a choice between face-to-face or remote learning. The approved plan includes the choices of in-person or online learning, smaller in-person class sizes and daily safety protocols like cleaning, masks and social distancing.

Gay-Dagnogo said Superintendent Nikoli Vitti and the school board should reconsider the plan. She released this statement on Thursday:

“COVID-19 numbers are on the rise, and health professionals have projected that the situation may worsen when coupled with the upcoming flu season. With at least 80 school districts across Michigan already planning to begin the school year with online instruction, I’m calling on Superintendent Vitti and the Detroit School Board to reconsider their plan to open physically this fall and reexamine their position in consultation with the educators they are asking to put their lives on the line. Our buildings are old, ventilation is not what it should be, and the cleaning protocols would need to be significantly improved for in-person schooling this fall to be safe.

“If we have learned nothing else during this time, it’s that we are all connected, and no decision made on how to handle this crisis exists in a vacuum. Many students, staff and teachers live in close quarters with the elderly. Even if they don’t contract or show symptoms themselves, they risk carrying the disease back to their families. We cannot continue to treat this as dangerous for others but not for us. This virus is real, it does not discriminate, and we shouldn’t be putting anyone – especially our children and educators – at risk when it is within our power to keep them safe.”

Gay-Dagnogo the state’s 8th House District on Detroit’s west side.

For more information about DPSCD’s return-to-school plan, go here:

Related: How Detroit public schools are bridging the digital divide