County Seat Newspaper
of Clare County

Letter to the Editor -Reader objects to in-person classes


I find it amazing that six of our seven school board members would vote to send our students back to school in person during a pandemic and renovation process.

Half of all schools in the country are either homeschooling, online, or delaying start times. Cases are trending upward, and we can’t take chances knowing people ages 10-17 can get and spread and the virus quickly.

We’ve laid off eight teachers and put in walls and will try to distance even larger classes into enclosed spaces, this will not work.

A quarter of our students have already opted out and I expect more to follow.  Cases in Michigan are highest since May 4 because of gatherings and people not masking up.

The members of the school board are very educated people, they know the risks, they are playing politics to appeal to our conservative voters who think the virus is a conspiracy. They are only worried about their political careers. I want to thank my friend Roger Peterson for voting against in-person classes.

Certainly, people are tired of staying home. They want to socialize and get back to work, see friends and different people. Me too, but we must focus on protocol to make this happen.

The sheriff’s department, school board, city officials, emergency directors, and county leaders have been a disappointment. Having outdoor live concerts, street fairs, parades and gathering for fireworks will not solve this crisis.

Let’s start the school year virtually, take a longer holiday and winter break to prevent snow days and then (if safe) attend in person from March through June and play fall sports then.

For years I advised students to strike when they felt the school was violating their rights. We could skip Fridays to protest climate polluters, dress codes and disciplinary actions.

A few brave students walked out two years ago to protest school shootings and raise awareness. Now we want to put them in danger again with a pandemic.

I advise every 2020 graduate to register to vote and all current students to ‘hang in there’ and know that whether or not I win in November, I will have your backs.

Matt Stephenson



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