(CBS DETROIT) – A group of Detroit Public Schools Community District teachers is demanding that their union step in and stop plans to reopen schools this fall, and they’re ready to take their concerns to the picket lines.
Calls to shutdown face-to-face learning and mandate vaccines for staff and students, Some DPSCD teachers say shutting down face-to-face learning and mandating vaccines for staff and students needs to be done before welcoming students back to class.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Helping Young Folks & Cancer Patients
“The leadership of the DFT signed an agreement agreeing that teachers would return to the buildings this fall, but it is not an agreement that DFT members got to vote on,” said Benjamin Royal, a teacher at Maybury Elementary School.
Educators walked the picket lines outside of Renaissance High School Tuesday, requesting The Detroit Federation Of Teachers to scrap the fall reopening plan.
“Only a 33% vaccination rate in the city,” said Nicole Conaway, a Communication and Media Arts Science Teacher. “Only 20% among teenagers, and 0% among children under 12.”
On Aug. 9, Monday night, the group met on zoom to formally reject the district’s proposal to open classrooms while calling on DFT to hold a strike vote.
Members from ‘BAMN’ and ‘Detroit Strike To Win’ say masking and ventilation will not protect kids and staff from COVID-19 outbreaks in schools.
“There is absolutely no good reason to be reopening school buildings this fall,” said Royal. “We’re calling for the district to shut down schools and move back to a completely online and remote format.”READ MORE: Meet These Two Bear Cubs Who Have Become Inseparable At The Detroit Zoo
The group is also asking for a 20% raise for all DPSCD employees and voluntary remote learning.
They also want Superintendent Dr. Noikolai Vitti TO BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.
“The teachers have not agreed to it, and in fact, when Vitti started putting it in the news that they agreed to that, my phone started ringing off the hook with teachers who are angry and saying we did not agree to this,” said Conway. “This is not what we think is right for the children of Detroit or for us.”
Dr. Vitti released a statement TO CW50 in response to their concerns that reads in part:
“The vast majority of our students and families are requesting that schools open once again this fall. Any student or family that is requesting an online option will, and can, attend our virtual school. This announcement is irresponsible, selfish, and frankly not in touch with how everyday students and families are thinking about the upcoming school year.”
CW50 also reached out to the DFT administrators, but we’re still waiting for a reply.MORE NEWS: Delta Wants Other Airlines To Share ‘No-Fly’ Lists To Help Stop Unruly Passengers
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