Editorial

Schools’ decisions defy health dept. guidance

ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.

“It is isn’t very good, but it sure is interesting.” — Detroit Piston Scouts Will Robinson on MIAA basketball

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Last weekend’s scramble to reopen schools or shut them down after spring break has prompted some interesting, but perhaps troubling developments and realizations.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the State Department of Health and Human Services Friday morning issued a request, not an order, for high schools to shutter and go to virtual learning for two weeks and athletics to be paused for the same period.

All three local districts declined the request. Martin and Hopkins both did so much in the same fashion as announcing a snow day. Wayland made the decision to “stay the course” after a special school board meeting Saturday.

This reminded me of two things:

  • There has been some grumbling on social media that suggested Superintendent Dr. Christina Hinds is governing the Wayland Union school district like Whitmer is as Michigan’s CEO. Interesting that Wayland decided to remain open because of a board decision.
  • This development echoes the old understanding that voluntary seat belt compliance never was higher than about 65 percent of motorists, despite a massive public relations campaign over more than a dozen years. It wasn’t until the State Legislature in the mid-1980s mandated seat belt use under penalty of law that compliance was estimated at better than 95%.

The governor, who took a lot of heat for employing strict shutdown orders over the past year to mitigate Covid-19 spread, this time softened her approach and was rebuffed, at least in these parts. Local school districts declined her request while Michigan climbed into the No. 1 spot in the nation for new Covid cases. It was so bad that the director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publicly implored Michigan to shut things down. It was so bad that the Allegan County Health Department recommended local schools go back to the hybrid model.

So deciding to send the kids back to the classroom and to “let them play” sports had its risks.

At the end of the first day back (Monday), it was reported in Hinds’ letter to parents:

“Six students from Wayland High School are presumed positive, two WHS students are confirmed positive, two middle school students are confirmed positive one Pine Street student is presumed positive and one Dorr Elementary student is confirmed positive.”

All 12 students are being quarantined and are staying home.

Allegan County Health Department is investigating and monitoring the situation.

It’s an old and tired saying, but “Hindsight is 20-20.”

7 Comments

  • Blah, blah, blah… so much hot air!
    How is it essential businesses stay open for months and nary a one of the employees get sick? How is it all the stores in GR, Kalamazoo, Holland stay open with very few to no cases of Covid and they are exposed to hundreds to thousands of people everyday? Get off your soapbox and get back in the closet you sniveling coward to live life.

    • DTOM
      I must disagree with your statement that these businesses never suffer loss of employees to Covid-19. Yes they are open but (trust me) they have employees out with Covid.
      Are they going to announce the fact their business has X amount of employees on quarantine, of course not. Do the hospitals law enforcement, fire department, first responders send out news releases about how many are quarantined?
      It is save to say every business, organization, or essential service still has a few new cases every month. This will continue till one either survives a case of Covid or gets the vaccine and it works for you. I believe we failed to realize that all these proactive measures were just to slow the disease not stop or prevent it. I also think it may be a few more years of these “spikes ” since not everyone believes the science or those explaining the science. Since from the start Covid-19 has become a “political issue” not a health issue.
      As many had said at the start of this. Forget the PPE, play roulette with your life. Since not everyone was “on board” with idea we are where we are. People will still die of Covid-19 but at a more manageable rate.

  • As I understand it there are many more Covid tests being administered at present than were a year ago. Such as school athletes before any event? Of course, there are going to be more positive cases. I personally know several people who donated blood and were later contacted that they had the Covid antibodies, not even being able to pin point when they may have been sick with covid.
    Do I believe covid is a real thing? Absolutely, but I don’t need my governor dictating over me any longer! Are we once again going to rob another class of seniors of one of the most important times in their lives, NO!
    If you are not comfortable by all means stay home! The rest of us still have a life to live. If I personally get Covid and it takes my life then I feel it was God’s will for me and I am alright with that. Remember, God will always have the final say!

  • DTOM, your love of everything Trump is showing again. Should anyone have an opinion that differs from yours, out come the insults and name calling. It must be quite a burden knowing what is right for everyone.

    • Dear Reader,
      Thank you for your comments.
      If you wish to live like a hermit, that is your choice. If you are so scared of Covid and the governor wishes to close down the state, so be it. I thought we lived in a free country.
      Remember when she opened up northern Michigan last spring just before she was to attend a graduation in Traverse City? And her husband wanted the boat taken out of storage so they could use it while up there and he dropped the governor’s name to the marina owner? The marina owner replied he was on the long list!
      I guess what’s good for the governor doesn’t apply to citizens. So much for public service, only service for them.
      She is a poor excuse for a leader.

  • DTOM, I’m not disagreeing with what you previously wrote. I feel one of the major problems in our country is how we treat other. Far too much division, too many people trying to force others to think the same as they do. It’s OK to think differently than another person, but I’ve seen countless arguments end up with name calling, which is how Trump often responded to anyone who thought differently.

    Whitmer is no different than most politicians. They are only concerned with their bank accounts and personal agendas, the exact opposite of what they are supposed to be.

  • Dear Reader,
    Thank you for the response.
    I think we would agree on many things. I voted for a president, not a choir boy. Being catholic, Joe Biden is neither catholic nor a choir boy and never was. I understand your loathing of President Trump, I don’t agree, but understand. Many good people feel the same as you – they like results, not the bluster. I only care about results. Never met a man or woman who got results by being coy, especially those leading others. Trump is a thinker and doer, not a politician and do-nothing office holder.
    Joe Biden is a disaster, both physically and mentally. Did you see his tripping up the steps to AF1? Do you watch his teleprompter and rehearsed TV presentations? Are you cringing every time he opens his mouth? I sure am. He is a weak, unaccomplished politician. Russia and China knows this and are salivating to beat us economically, militarily, and politically. They know strength and Joe doesn’t have a clue and his VP is worse.
    Just admit you wasted you vote for an empty suit (and skull), with warning signs of dementia.

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