By Cryss Walker

(CBS DETROIT) – Plans are underway to file a lawsuit against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Public Schools Community District.

The social activist group BAMN! is working with their legal team to argue mandatory covid vaccines and masking in all Michigan schools.

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“Michigan is the third highest state as far as case rates right now,” said Nicole Conaway, a Communications and Media Arts High School teacher and BAMN! member.

“School outbreaks are the leading cause and more and more children are being hospitalized; most of them, who have no underlying conditions.”

California was the first state in the country to implement vaccine requirements for K-12 schools.

Monday, New Jersey officially started its vaccine policy for school staff.

BAMN! members say the state of Michigan now needs to follow suit.

“The reality is that in Michigan, there’s already a vaccine requirement for vaccines like the MMR vaccine,” said Benjamin Royal, a Maybury Elementary teacher and BAMN! member.

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“What we’re saying is that, it’s clear that it is possible for states to take actions to protect their residents from the spread of this disease.”

The group is also demanding regular mandatory testing for all students, staff and contractors, plus, remote teaching and learning options for every school.

DPSCD Assistant Superintendent of Communications Chrystal Wilson sent a statement to CW50 saying the district has a contract with the Detroit Federation of Teachers that outlines their safety plans; which includes weekly covid tests and universal mask wearing.

Governor Whitmer’s Press Secretary Bobby Leddy released a statement about the issue:

“Our administration shares the same goals of protecting students, educators, and support staff to ensure that school districts can have a successful school year. Right now, the majority of students in traditional public schools are covered by smart mask policies and our administration has worked quickly to make the safe and effective vaccine readily available to all eligible Michiganders while also prioritizing testing for schools.

Once the FDA and CDC authorize the vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, we are confident that we can quickly order and distribute vaccines for younger students, which will ensure that all students in K-12 schools are protected. We are always going to support proven measures, like vaccines, smart mask policies, and testing, to keep students safe and ensure that in-person learning can continue this year.”

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