Grosse Pointe teacher sick-out protests eased Covid rules to quarantine fewer kids

April 28, 2021, 9:56 PM

Update: Over 100 Grosse Pointe Public Schools teachers called in sick Wednesday to protest the district’s new Covid guidelines.

A total of 116 called in sick, 47 of them at Grosse Pointe North High School, accoring to WDIV.

Original article, Wednesday morning:

Six feet, six feet, six feet. The distance guideline has been drilled into us for more than a year, and there's growing evidence still that it's insufficient for preventing the virus' spread indoors.

Despite this, Grosse Pointe's school board broke with federal guidance this week with the stated goal of quarantining fewer kids. Now, students only have to isolate if they've been within three feet of someone with a confirmed case of Covid. 

The eased restriction was approved 6-1 at a contentious Monday night meeting, the Detroit Free Press reported, during which a top teacher quit following an impassioned speech to the board:

“You sit up on this stage, which by the way I hope you enjoy the space you have here. This does not exist in our classrooms,” he said, to shouts of approval and applause from a knot of teachers at the back of the auditorium.

“And you tell us after your meetings that you so appreciate and respect us. Well, I cry bull****! 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,” said McCarroll, who lives in Grosse Pointe Park.

Grosse Pointe North High School teacher and department head Sean McCarroll's comments are posted to YouTube with the title "Grosse Pointe teacher roasts Board of Education in public resignation" with the emojis for mic drop. The clip has over 50,000 views in a day.

Other critics, the Freep reported:

... said the board was “watering down” COVID precautions and putting teachers at risk. One ... accused the district of deciding that it had “an unsustainable number of students in quarantine, so you’re changing the rule.” The mother of a kindergartener said to board members, “Can we please stop bending the rules? This is just insane.”

But a doctor who lives four blocks from Grosse Pointe South High School told the board members that he and his wife, also a doctor, fully supported the plan because it complied with the latest official recommendations about safety amid the pandemic. And a high school student said he strongly supported the change because many of his friends had undergone repeated bouts in quarantine and that their mental health had suffered while none had come down with the virus.

The new rule went into effect immediately.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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