Michigan parents push for more in-person learning ahead of March 1 target date

Michigan parents push for more in-person learning ahead of March 1 target date

DETROIT – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been vocal about her desire to see all school districts off some kind of in-person learning option by Monday.

Not every school district in Metro Detroit are ready to do that.

A group of parents spoke with Local 4 about what they think is best for their children. They acknowledged that Whitmer wanting to return to in-person learning by March 1 was a step in the right direction, but they still want her to do more.

“Giving that advice and that guidance, is definitely a great stride from where we were a few months ago,” said Jessica Mathiak, a parent of a Huron Valley Schools student. “We’d like to see more strength in that, rather than just a kind request to get our schools back and open full time and face-to-face.”

These parents said it’s been rough watching the effect not physically being in school has taken on their children.

“I have a 5-year-old special needs daughter who all summer long would put on her book bag and go to the front door and ask for her bus driver to take her to school,” said David Meyer, a Clarkston Community Schools parent.

“Watching what the school closures are doing to all of our children of all ages frankly just scares me,” said Kris Miller, a Waterford School District parent.

Some parents said the emotional stress is the biggest cause of concern.

“We currently have a teenage student and this has taken a toll on her so desperately that she has tried to attempt to end her life twice now,” Mathiak said.

The parents are urging Whitmer to take more action while it still can be done.

“We just need to get them back into what they’re used to and what’s been proven to be best for our children,” Miller said.

The parents are organizing a rally to take place Saturday at the State Capitol in Lansing.

More: Return To School

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.