MANCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) – “They can’t enforce it,” a parent said of the mask’s warrant. He was speaking to a group of around two to three dozen students outside Manchester High School on Tuesday who were trying to enter the school building without wearing a mask.
The parent could be heard in a video that was posted on TikTok during what some have described as a protest against the Washtenaw County Health Department’s mask mandate that demands “that everyone in the facilities and educational institutions consistently and correctly wear a face shield inside any enclosed building or structure.
The ordinance applies to public, private, vocational and charter schools that provide kindergarten to grade 12 education in the county. The mask order also includes all extracurricular and sports activities in the district. ”
An assistant from the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office can be seen in the video, not far from the front door where the principal and superintendent are trying to keep unmasked students out of the building.
The deputy said children must wear a mask to enter the school, but does not try to steer them away from the door where the superintendent and principal were trying to encourage students to put on their masks before entering in the building.
“I will not force anyone,” said the assistant to the parent who took the video. “I don’t put masks on anyone, it’s not my job,” he said. “This is an order from the county health department and a school policy that anyone entering must have a mask.”
It seems the parent understood that no one would prevent the students from entering the building.
“Alright, they can come in, guys. They can come in. Come in, guys,” the man told the students.
Superintendent Dr Brad Bezeau said the students persisted in trying to make their way inside the building and, because he didn’t want the situation to escalate at the door, he and the principal did have not backed down.
Some students went to their classrooms and others went to the main office.
Bezeau said staff reached out to parents to let them know they had no choice but to follow the order of the health department or the district and that the students could face a fine.
Dr Bezeau said he understood all of the students returned to school on Wednesday with their masks on. But that was after a firm letter to parents and students that detailed the district’s COVID-19 cases and the importance of complying with the order.
Click on the video to hear from parents who want their children to wear masks and those who do not.
Here is the letter issued by Dr. Bezeau:
Good evening, Manchester Community Schools,
I hope all is well for you and your family as we continue to go through the current phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. With five positive cases of COVID-19 students, three positive cases of COVID-19 staff, and seventeen students identified as individuals in quarantine since the start of the school year, we will continue to meet all requirements and requirements. legal orders issued by the Washtenaw County Health Department on Thursday, September 2, 2021 and which went into effect today, Tuesday, September 7, 2021. We will all need to make sure that we keep each other safe and healthy during this period.
As a school district, we will abide by all orders and mandates of the Washtenaw County Department of Health. These orders, authorized under the Michigan Public Health Code, will be followed by the school district in all cases. Be aware that these are legal orders and that the Washtenaw County Department of Health Order issued September 2, 2021 is a legal order issued under the Michigan Public Health Code, MCL 333.2451 and MCL 333.2453, as well. as state administrative rules promulgated by the Michigan Department. de la santé et des services sociaux, R 325.175 (4) as authorized by the public health code, MCL 333.2226. These laws and any resulting ordinance are presumed legal until a court of competent jurisdiction decides otherwise. To date, this has not happened.
In addition, be aware that the Manchester Community Schools Board of Education policy, adopted by the Board of Education on September 17, 2018, states in part: “Protocols established by the county health department must be followed”.
Students who do not comply with this ordinance and the policies of the Board of Education, including wearing a mask while staying inside one of our school buildings, will be subject to violations of the code. for the conduct of students in Manchester Community Schools and the accompanying penalties. This is certainly not our goal, but there are many civil and financial penalties that the district will be subject to for non-compliance.
Additionally, all parents and visitors to our school, including all of our indoor sporting events, will also continue to be required to wear face coverings and masks inside our school buildings. We will continue to work with the Washtenaw County Department of Health, the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department and the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to ensure that all of our students, staff, visitors and families stay safe. security. We will continue to offer our virtual learning option to students this week, as well as the option of a medically documented exemption, but all students will be required to comply with these orders in order to attend our schools.
Please let me know if you have any questions regarding this update.
Dr Brad Bezeau
Manchester Community Schools