Dozens of Michigan school employees rallied at the State Capitol Thursday to call for a safe school re-opening strategy.
Members of the Caucus of Rank and File Educators (CORE) came to Lansing to talk about several school issues.
The group is calling on districts to start school only if their communities have gone 14 days with no cases of COVID-19.
Livonia music teacher McKenzie Sato made an impassioned argument.
“In order to send us completely virtual for the beginning of the year, how many people need to die?” Sato said. “How many people need to contract this virus when we could significantly reduce the infection of our communities, of our staff, of our teachers, of our students if we were to be online? And why is the answer any more than one?”
The rally took place on a day when state lawmakers were originally scheduled to review a package of Republican-sponsored bills that focus on reopening schools.
CORE organizer Paul Sandy noted their absence.
“Where are they today?” Sandy asked. “There was one case of COVID, and they’re out for the entire week. So, what’s going to happen at the first school where there’s one case of COVID?”
Many Lansing-area school districts will begin the upcoming school year online, adopting a wait-and-see approach to reopening buildings for instruction.
Editor's note 8:10 p.m. – This story has been updated to correctly reference CORE as the Caucus of Rank and File Educators.