DPSCD Summer school to start Monday, amid pandemic fears

School Instruction starts Monday for Detroit Public Schools Community District, but everyone is not on board. 

On Monday, Detroit Public Schools Community District will start its face-to-face and virtual learning instruction for summer school, but some argue it’s the wrong move as the state sees a rise in COVID 19 cases. 

“What Vitti is doing, what Mayor Duggan is doing and what Governor Whitmer is allowing for Detroit Public Schools to conduct a new Tuskegee experiment to use Detroit public school students, black and Latino students for her immunity experiment. That is not acceptable,” said Benjamin Royal, a DPSCD teacher.  

But DPSCD leadership sees things differently. In a statement to Fox 2, Superintendent Dr. Nicolai Vitti wrote: 

“Four thousand parents signed up for summer school...half of our families signed up for face-to-face and the other half for online instruction … More than 300 teachers applied to offer face to face instruction for the 170 positions.”

“Any teacher who signed up to in-person summer school has betrayed the students of Detroit,” Royal said. 

These activists believe face to face instruction should not be an option. 
“The only way to protect our students now is to leave those schools empty,” Royal said. 

But some argue online instruction has its shortcomings 

Dr. Vitti made it clear that during the latter part of the COVID school shutdown, parents and community members were constantly asking how the district would help students catch up, due to learning loss after online learning. 

“Yes this more difficult to learn online, but it’s even more difficult to learn when you’re dead, or your teachers are dead,” said DPSCD teacher Nicole Conaway. 

DPSCD said safety is key and summer safety measures will include: 

  • COVID testing for employees
  • Required use of a mask for everyone
  • Smaller class sizes 

But this group is working to put the brakes on face-to-face instruction and will use the legal system to do so. 

“We’re going to be filing a lawsuit with the court of claims,” said Attorney Monica Smith with By Any Means Necessary. “It’s our position that the students should not be attending school until there is a vaccine.”

The group said they will go to court Monday and they will also hold a protest to keep school doors closed until a vaccine is available.