State lawmakers propose restricting school health policies

State Republicans are trying to restrict some school health policies when it comes to COVID-19.
Bills would restrict COVID policies
Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - State Republicans are trying to restrict some school health policies when it comes to COVID-19. They feel schools might be able to discriminate against unvaccinated students. Some parents said it’s best if the state stays out of it, wanting districts to be able to make their own regulations to keep kids safe.

Michigan Senator Tom Barrett said, “We shouldn’t leave up to the discretion of a school district because your rights and your freedoms and your ability to make your own decisions shouldn’t change based upon which school district you live in.”

Senator Barrett is co-sponsoring four bills that would restrict school health policies regarding COVID-19. Under these bills, school districts would be banned from requiring students to get the COVID-19 vaccine, discriminating against students who are unvaccinated, requiring asymptomatic students to be tested for COVID-19, and requiring face masks at school board meetings.

Senator Barrett said, “Its just one of those things that we just wanted to make sure our kids are protected from the COVID-19 vaccine as long as its emergency use authorization only. Protecting the medical rights and medical privacies of students so they can have themselves and their parents rights protected.”

Haslett parent Rob Brown said he wants to make sure his daughter is safe against students who are unvaccinated.

Brown said, “I think this is an unfortunate preemptive of local control. I honestly wouldn’t feel comfortable if a large portion of our school district was unvaccinated and she was sent back to school even though she’s taken those precautions.”

News 10 reached out to the Ingham County Intermediate School District Superintendent, Jason Mellema, who said lawmakers getting involved with school districts decisions might be an overstep.

Mellema said, “I hope that there is enough trust that as leaders we are doing the best we can in the middle of a situation because its difficult because its constantly evolving.”

The bills have been referred to the State Senate Committee on Education and Career Readiness. We’ll let you know if the bills advance.

The CDC is currently recommending all teachers, students, and staff wear masks inside school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.

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