STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – Tuesday marks the return to school for thousands of children in Macomb County.
Unlike neighboring Oakland and Wayne counties, Macomb County has not issued a mask mandate. Most districts have decided to make masks optional.
“On a night that should be really exciting -- the day before the first day of school -- we’re absolutely terrified,” said Emily Sajor. “I feel like we’re sending our kids into a place with a high chance of them coming back sick.”
Sajor’s 5-year-old son Joshua has multiple conditions including cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
Her neighbor, Elisabetta Stupera, has two kids heading into first and second grade. They lost their grandfather to COVID in March.
“It makes going to school without mask mandates very hard for our family,” Stupera said.
Both families are in Utica Community Schools, the second largest district in Michigan. Last week during a school board meeting, Stupera’s mother spoke in favor of a mask mandate.
Other parents were opposed.
“Of the 21 districts in Macomb County, every one of them has a mask policy or mask plan in place. They didn’t ask me to make a decision for them,” Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel said on Local 4′s Flashpoint Sunday.