Nearly 120 teachers at a Michigan public school district called in sick Wednesday to protest the district’s decision to relax COVID-19 guidelines, apparently in accordance with CDC recommendations, ClickOnDetroit reported.
A total of 116 teachers working at Grosse Pointe Public School called in sick after the district’s board of education voted Monday to change its protocols.
More than 100 teachers called in sick Wednesday to protest the district’s new COVID-19 guidelines. https://t.co/N2nxmicvZV
— Local 4 WDIV Detroit (@Local4News) April 28, 2021
The school voted to reduce the distance of “close contact” between students from six feet to three.
Policies further mandated a 10-day quarantine period for students who were in contact with a student who tested positive for COVID-19. The previous guidance was 14 days.
The CDC announced on March 19 that the “latest science” indicated that the distancing suggestion could be narrowed provided everyone is masked. In December, the CDC announced that the quarantine period can end after 10 days if the individual showed no symptoms.
A teacher also resigned following the vote and accused the school board of not respecting teachers. The teachers asked to return to a hybrid model instead of in-person instruction for two weeks, citing an increase in COVID-19 cases in April, according to Fox 2.
“We’re not angry at the situation — we can’t control COVID — we’re angry at you. We’re angry at you and angry is a nice way of putting it,” Sean McCarroll, the teacher who resigned, said Monday, according to Fox 2.
“You don’t respect us — if you respected us you’d listen to us. You don’t appreciate us — if you did you wouldn’t make our jobs literally impossible to do.”
Students who arrived at Grosse Pointe High School, where 47 teachers called in sick, were told to wait in the gym until substitute teachers arrived at the school, according to ClickOnDetroit. The school’s administration staff went into classrooms to teach students since their teachers did not show up. (RELATED: Parents’ Lawyers Warn Teachers’ Union That Legal Action Will Follow If They Participate In Another ‘Union-Organized Sick-Out’)
The teachers said the day off was meant to allow them to “mentally recharge.”
The president of the teachers union, Christopher Pratt, said sick days are in teachers’ contracts, according to ClickOnDetroit. Pratt said the teachers who called in sick weren’t doing it as part of union activity, according to Fox 2.