GROSSE POINTE FARMS, Mich. – The decision by the Grosse Pointe Public Schools to start the school year with masks optional has parents divided.
Some parents protested before Monday night’s board meeting with signs and props like tombstones and the grim reaper.
“I think it’s important to protect our kids and follow the expert guidelines,” said parent Stephen Warnick Jr.
Warnick and other parents want masks to be mandatory.
In a letter to parents that went out last week, the district Superintendent Jon Dean details his reasons for starting with masks optional, which include the high vaccination rate of nearly 80% in the district and low caseload. That letter also makes it clear if those numbers change, masks and other mitigation measures will return.
The mask optional start was enthusiastically received by many parents and students who voiced their support at Monday night’s board meeting.
“We as parents know what is best for our kids and what you did was optional. Have at if you want and if they don’t, they shouldn’t be required to,” said parent Tim Driscoll.
Dean made it clear this policy is fluid and the priority of the administration and the board is to keep the students in face-to-face learning.
More: Return to School updates
Michigan childhood vaccination rates low for back to school
Just a few weeks before the 2021-2022 Michigan school year gets underway, just 37.8% of teens have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
The latest data from MDHHS shows Michigan residents between the ages of 12-19 are far behind older age groups in COVID-19 vaccination rates, even as many prepare to return to in-person learning this fall.