MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. – As students are starting to return to school across Metro Detroit, a photo online has left at least one Macomb County father worried about the school year.
The photo shows students wearing masks, but nearly nonexistent social distancing at Lutheran North High School. The private Macomb school only offered in-person learning for the 2020-21 school year.
Officials with the school said they’re all learning this new way of life together, but it has frightened parents who were told they’d be sending their children into a safe environment.
“It’s frightening. It’s just scary. I know my kid is scared,” one parent said. “I know there are other parents and their kids are scared as well.”
Parents said images were shared among students on social media, leaving them upset and afraid.
“My child came home and told me about it and showed me that image and others from other students,” said one anonymous parent. “It’s just, just shocking.
In a statement, the school superintendent said they tried to put the best plans in place but are still subject to change.
“We’re helping each other learn and follow the protocols.” said superintendent Paul Looker. “We also have the responsibility of observing how the plan is working and make adjustments, if necessary.”
Parents who said they were assured their children would be safe were not comforted by the statement.
“You’re hoping for the best and you’re trusting, but when you see an image like that you get concerned,” said the parent.
There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the school.
The full statement from the superintendent can be read below:
“Our administrative teams have worked hard this summer, like all schools that have opened or will open face to face, to develop plans to implement the requirements and recommendations for phase 4 given by the Governor’s task force through the Michigan Return to School Roadmap.
We started last week with time devoted to explaining to our students the procedures we’ve put in place to open safely. We’ve had our first few days of school and our first look at these plans with students in the building. We’re helping each other learn and follow the protocols. We also have the responsibility of observing how the plan is working and make adjustments, if necessary, to make it work better. And we’ll continue to do that, day after day. Our teachers are committed to the plans that we have in place to help keep our students and our teachers safe. They will continue to be diligent in making the plans work and what areas or situations need to be improved.
We’ve seen a lot of excited, happy students and teachers who have missed seeing students in their classrooms. To be able to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them in person is a tremendous blessing, definitely worth implementing the safety protocols and worth our time evaluating and fixing if and when necessary.”