South Lyon School Board votes to start class online after late-night zoom meeting

The South Lyon school district has joined the ranks of other districts that will begin classes online.

A late-night zoom call that extended for hours ended in a school board vote to begin fall classes virtually with the option of reassessing an in-person option later in the year. 

The choice came with much consternation, as parents appear divided on what is the best route moving forward amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Or in the paraphrasing of one comment, a 'crap sandwich or starving to death.'

"What the superintendent basically said; You are either going to eat a crap sandwich or you are going to starve to death. So, pick which one you're going to do that you feel is best for your children," one comment read.

Ahead of the school board meeting, board president Carrie Hanshaw said in the past week the district representatives had received 200 emails. 

"We read them very thoroughly and thoughtfully and take them all into careful consideration," she said.

A recent survey of parents in South Lyon said 80% choose in-person learning as opposed to online options. Hanshaw then read nearly 70 public comments and others called in with their own comments, most of whom shared a different opinion from what the survey said.

"As parents and taxpayers and everything, we just want to have a better say in how things are implemented," said Tammy Oliver, who has two kids in school. 

"We need to have our teachers be essential and do the same. That's what it's all about and school should never be a choice for government. It should be a choice for the people," said Gloria Sigouin, a parent.

RELATED: Metro Detroit school districts release return to learning plans for fall amid COVID-19 pandemic

While most districts have opted for some semblance of online learning, some will also offer in-person learning. The state's biggest districts, from Utica to Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Lansing, have all opted to start with online learning. 

Most notably missing from the list is Detroit Public Schools Community District, which has yet to decide on a fall plan. Its summer school worked used a hybridized plan, which drew rebuke from teachers and parents.