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

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

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

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:

Shawn Ley is an Emmy-Award winning reporter. In more than 20 years covering stories in television news, Shawn’s reporting has taken him from war-torn eastern Europe, to reporting from an F-16 fighter jet and now to the fast and furious breaking news of Detroit.

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.