Michigan school districts reconsider mask mandate

Local school districts issue statements in response to recommendation by group

Michigan school districts reconsider mask mandate

DETROIT – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is strongly recommending masks be worn by all students and staff in school for the upcoming academic year.

That has led to local school districts reconsidering a mask mandate inside classrooms.

“For me personally, I’m going to stick with the mask,” said Jerbina Sturdivant, a Metro Detroit resident.

Sturdivant said she’s sticking with the masks and that’s the same rule for her sixth grade son who is in Utica schools. He has autism. She said that decision didn’t come lightly. She did a lot of research.

“Because it’s different everyday, like one day they’re saying we’re good without the mask and the next thing, we need a mask, I think we’re just going to stick with the mask,” she said.

The AAP is recommending masks for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status. It advises masks be worn in school for the upcoming academic year forcing school districts from Novi to Detroit to make tough decisions.

“As we look toward August, we anticipate our recommendation to the board will be that we continue to make masks optional, as we return to school in the fall,” said Superintendent Steve Matthews with Novi Public Schools.

Dr. Desheil Echols, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction with the Pontiac School District, released the following statement:

“With the ongoing evolution of the pandemic and vaccinations, we know that things may change exponentially over the next month in regards to the best protocols and safety measures for our students, staff and community. We will continue to review the most recent data and recommendations from our local and national health experts and will finalize our decision, based on that knowledge, closer to the start of the school year. The wellbeing of all within the Pontiac School District Family remains our top priority.”

Detroit Public Schools also released a statement:

The statement from DPS read, “Right now, everyone is required to wear a mask on district grounds unless they are in a room of employees and students who are fully vaccinated, vaccinated outside, or alone in a room or office. We plan to engage the School Board to modify this approach next year where vaccinated employees and students, with vaccine documentation, will no longer need to wear a mask as long as infection rates remain low. Unvaccinated employees and students would still wear a mask.”

About the Authors:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.