Michigan parents will be protesting outside the Huron Valley School District administration building in Oakland County on Wednesday, demanding a return to in-person learning.
Many schools have effectively been shuttered across the state as a result of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s (D) coronavirus orders, and offering only all-day virtual instruction to kids as young as five-years-old.
Jess Mathiak is organizing a protest at the Huron Valley central office on Wednesday with the goal of getting administrators to hear parents’ concerns.
“We’re just a group of parents that are trying to advocate for our children to get back in the classroom with face-to-face instruction,” Mathiak told Breitbart News.
She said her intent is not to point fingers because “there are a lot of variables to these decisions,” but, “we really want to just beg for these kids and advocate for them.”
Mathiak said schools being closed and sports and other activities being canceled have had a negative effect on kids.
“Kids are completely unmotivated, they do not want to get up on the computer, they do not want to get out of bed,” she said, relaying examples she has heard from other parents.
“The governor has made decisions that go far beyond her purview,” Mathiak argued.
“We’ve completely neglected the well-being of children as a whole,” Mathiak said, “because we’ve allowed people to have tunnel vision with Covid.”
Teachers unions, whose role it is to advocate for the employees’ interests, have been particularly vocal about keeping schools closed.
According to Mathiak, the local union president told the school board in November that a survey of teachers was conducted and 66 percent “did not want to reengage in the classroom.”
She told Breitbart News that she thought there has been a shift since then and more teachers want to return to in-person learning.
The protest will begin at 3:00 p.m. at the administration building, 2390 S. Milford Road in Highland Township.
“We’re just trying to show collectively to the leadership team and our board of education that our children deserve an education and not this remote model that they’ve been doing,” Mathiak said.
“We want to vocalize that our students are not okay, they’re struggling significantly with mental health issues, and we know the importance of in-person education,” she said.