Parents, students push for face-to-face learning in Clinton Township

Parents, students gathered outside of Chippewa Valley Schools administration building

Parents protest against virtual learning in Clinton Township

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Parents in Clinton Township made their voices heard for face-to-face learning.

On Monday, a smattering of protestors -- parents and their children who want in-person learning -- were outside the Chippewa Valley Schools administration building.

“We became frustrated with the district’s decision to not give us any commitment for choice. We’re not here to tell any of the parents that aren’t uncomfortable coming to the school that they have to believe in our way of thinking or what we believe is best for our kids. We just want our right to a choice,” said Tom Sokol, a parent.

Earlier this summer, the district thought it could provide some in-person learning, but pulled back on that option just before the start of school, sending all 15,000 students into remote learning.

“You can’t give somebody a choice and then take that choice away,” said Julie Pearce, a parent.

The district acknowledges the fact that most children do better with face to face learning, but said that science says it’s not safe.

“The numbers related to COVID-19 really changed drastically and then at the beginning of July, they were quite low. We had just come out of many stay-at-home orders, numbers were low. And as the economy opened up over the summer, things began to change. Numbers in our county and in our district increased substantially,” said the Chippewa Valley Schools superintendent.

The superintendent said the decision to go remote was made in August.

“It was all about safety,” he said.

However, some parents, like Pearce, said there is still no reason why students could not be in school.

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.