With COVID cases among children rising, health officials ordered schools in the western U.P. counties of Iron and Dickinson to mask up in elementary schools. Barry and Eaton counties in mid-Michigan did the same. Many parents aren’t happy.
Fewer K-12 students will likely have to stay home from school because of exposure to COVID under new recommendations from the state health department. But local schools and health departments will have the final say on safety rules this year.
African-American and low-income third-graders were far more likely to be flagged for possible retention due to low reading test scores than their white or non-poor classmates. How many students are actually being held back remains unclear.
Parents against mask mandates in schools have grabbed most of the attention in school board meetings and protests. Now, parents who favor mask mandates to protect against COVID’s spread are organizing.
With no state mandate, local Michigan superintendents are being forced to make tough decisions on whether to require face masks to protect against COVID this fall. The debate is dividing communities like Eaton Rapids.
The board, by a 6-2 vote, rejected a non-binding resolution by Republican members to prevent schools from requiring masks, COVID tests or quarantining unvaccinated students. One GOP member was in tears.