Canceled classes impact students across Metro Detroit

Students required to have 180 in-seat days or 1,090 hours of instruction

Students are continuously losing days of learning because of either in-school incidents, copycat acts of violence, or the rising numbers of the global pandemic, especially in Michigan.

Fallout from the Oxford High School shooting is still being felt in districts across Metro Detroit.

Several schools have closed because of threats of violence. Each threat has to be taken seriously, but the closures are having an impact on students.

“It’s frustrating for everybody involved, and it’s no more frustrating than the teachers who just want to be in class, helping these kids and just to see the continued difficulties they’re going through, the challenges that they are facing, the fear that they have it’s just terribly difficult for everybody involved,” said Robert McCann.

Robert McCann is the Executive for the K-12 Alliance of Michigan, which represents the interests and education of 680,000 students and educations in 114 school districts across Michigan.

He says the ongoing threats that are keeping a lot of schools shut down and kids out of classrooms are just making the job almost impossible at this point.

“These are serious threats that must be taken seriously right now, and they have serious consequences as a result. Not just for the people involved in making them, but for every student that deserves to be able to go to class and do so without fear of what’s going to happen to them,” McCann said. “We want to help them get caught back up, and these threats that are being called in right now are just making that almost impossible.”

The Michigan Department of Education has referred school districts to the guidance delivered back in September to handle COVID closures due to threats and canceled in-person instructions.

In the four-page memo, there are no allowances beyond the total of nine so-called “forgive days” or “snow days” but instead a path for districts on an individual basis to request waivers.

“No school or no student should be punished for the difficulties that they are dealing with right now,” said McCann.

School districts are working to ensure students will graduate on time.

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.