Michigan GOP getting into school mask debate

Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators said parents should support schools
Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 5:13 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Schools across mid-Michigan are finalizing what COVID-19 precautions they’re taking when students return to the classroom.

Meanwhile, the Michigan Republican Party urged parents to fight district mask mandates.

“I stand with parents across our state that are fighting back and speaking up against delusional behavior from liberal administrators who deal more in virtue signaling than science and safety,” said Michigan co-chairman, Meshawn Maddock in a statement Monday night. “As parents, you know what is best for you and your child. Keep calling and emailing your school board, superintendent, principal and other administrators who need to be held accountable for these actions.”

Parents in Grand Ledge Public Schools have been fighting back the district’s latest mask policy, requiring them for everyone inside.

“We know they are in a difficult spot, but they’re really taking away our children’s rights and our rights,” said Amy Mills, who has a fourth grader at GLPS.

She’s one of many trying to convince the school board to not require masks during the school day.

“It detracts from them learning, understanding and being able to make relationships with other people,” said Mills.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services strongly recommends everyone in a K-12 to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Mills said she’d like to see it stay a recommendation at the local level.

“I was looking at those changes they’ve made to the suggestions. That’s just what it’s been, a suggestion,” said Mills.

Eaton Rapids Public Schools will also require masks when classes start.

Susan Kinaitis has three kids in the district and she is happy to see the mask mandate.

“It was reasonable. The delta variant is rising. Kids are going to be in enclosed areas, they need to be protected at some point,” said Kinaitis.

Kinaitis said she wasn’t surprised Eaton Rapids ended up with a mask requirement.

“They try to make it best of the kids. And wearing a mask is not a fun thing to do,” said Kinaitis. “I’d rather have my kid slightly uncomfortable than in the hospital.”

She said she doesn’t understand why the mask debate has gotten political.

“I’ve never seen a virus vote for somebody. I’ve never seen a politician be able to say ‘these viruses don’t need to come here’ and they obey,” said Kinaitis.

The Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators asked parents to support local districts while they make tough mitigation decisions.

“District leaders across the state are tirelessly working to do what’s best for their students and their communities every day,” said Dr. Tina Kerr, MASA Executive Director. “Absent state or local mandates, our institutional leaders must collaborate and support the collective decisions that have been made. However, as we work on these issues of local control, it’s important that all players avoid seeking local blame.”

Schools that aren’t requiring masks in buildings are still requiring them on school buses because school buses fall under the federal mask mandate for public transportation.

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