100+ Grosse Pointe Public School teachers call in sick to protest loosened COVID precautions

School board voted to lower what is considered ‘close contact’

More than 100 teachers called in sick Wednesday to protest the district’s new COVID-19 guidelines.

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – More than 100 teachers called in sick Wednesday to protest the district’s new COVID-19 guidelines.

A total of 116 called in sick, 47 of them at Grosse Pointe North High School.

Instead of having class, Grosse Pointe North High School students waited in the gym until substitute teachers could be brought to the school. Even administration staff got into classes to teach.

Superintendent Gary Niehaus taught a TV Production class and German.

Why did so many teachers stay home?

In a 6-1 vote Monday, the Grosse Pointe Public Schools Board of Education adopted new COVID-19 protocols that lowered the distance for “close contact” between students from six feet to three feet and mandating a 10-day quarantine -- instead of 14 days -- for students in close contact with a student who tested positive for COVID-19.

READ: Grosse Pointe school board passes resolution to revise quarantine rules

Sean McCarroll resigned and blasted the school board at Monday’s meeting. He acknowledged that the school board members were sitting further apart than students are in classrooms.

Watch: Grosse Pointe teacher roasts board of education in intense resignation speech

Niehaus called the situation disappointing and said he was hopeful they could make things work.

The president of the teacher’s union said sick days are in their contract, but it comes down to this: listening to teachers.

Niehaus said he plans on speaking with the union president as soon as possible.

More: Education News

About the Authors:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.

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.