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Parents push for recall of 4 Chippewa Valley school board members

Recall effort targets board’s president, vice president and 2 trustees; Parents say due to lack of in-person options

CLINTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Parents are pushing for a recall of four Chippewa Valley Schools Board of Education members over decisions related to in-person learning.

Recall language has been approved by the Macomb County elections division. It targets Board President Frank Bednard, Vice President Denise Aquino and trustees Beth Pyden and George Sobah.

Parents who support the recall said the issue is the lack of in-person options for students -- a frustration that goes back to last August when Chippewa Valley Schools went completely virtual.

“They took that choice away from us as parents. They had the choice for those parents that didn’t want their kids in school and then took our choice for those of us that did, away from us,” said parent Terry Prince, who is leading the recall effort.

READ: Ann Arbor teachers, parents at odds over return to classrooms amid vaccine struggles

READ: Education leaders say teacher shortages, learning loss among top issues at Michigan schools

More than 1,000 members are part of a Facebook group advocating for more in-person learning options for students.

Bednard said he understands the frustration.

“Whatever decision we make, segments of our community are going to be upset and we understand that’s frustrating for folks living with this pandemic,” he said, mentioning that he stands by his votes on the board.

Since the recall language has been approved and neighboring districts have moved to offer greater in-person choices, a letter went home to parents advising them that Chippewa Valley will discuss implementing more in-person options next week. Prince said that won’t stop the recall effort, which kicks off this Saturday at a signature gathering event at Burning Tree Golf Club.

Supporters of the recall will need 12,000 signatures in 180 days.

Bednard said the district has some unique challenges when it comes to executing in-person learning.

“Dakota High School is the biggest high school in the state right now and Chippewa Valley is right behind it, so we have special challenges we need to overcome when we have that many children,” he said.

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