More than half of the 600 students participating in the Detroit Public Schools Community District’s (DPSCD) in-person summer program have been tested since a federal judge’s order on July 21. The order came after far-left activist group By Any Means Necessary (BAMN) filed a lawsuit against the DPSCD, in an ongoing effort to stop the district from reopening its school buildings amid the pandemic.
“Today, the Detroit Health Department tested an additional 57 DPSCD students with zero testing positive. With yesterday’s count of 262 students tested (previously reported 274, which included family members), that brings the total to 319 students tested with two positive cases. That is less than a 1 percent infection rate,” the city’s chief health officer Denise Fair said in a July 24 statement. “Parents of students who have tested positive and those who were in close proximity will be notified by the Detroit Health Department to self-quarantine for 14 days and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms.”
The DPSCD is going to reopen summer classes on Monday to students who tested negative, reported Detroit Free Press. School buildings and buses are also to be disinfected as recommended in public health guidelines.
“We are committed to transparency and upholding the guidelines outlined by health authorities and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” DPSCD superintendent Nikolai Vitti said in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with the Detroit Health Department as we complete summer school and prepare to reopen in the fall. Our priority is to meet the needs of our families as we navigate this pandemic.”
The DPSCD agreed earlier this week to comply with the court order, yet stating it was “insulting” to force parents to have their children tested for COVID-19 to receive public school services.
“We were never completely opposed to student testing but continue to question the legal authority to require parents to have their child tested to receive public school educational services, the inequity of requiring our students to test and other districts and schools not requiring the testing, and the burden it places on our parents who are already overwhelmed,” the district said in a statement.
BAMN protesters, among whom were a number of public school teachers, have been rallying outside the district’s bus garage since July 13 to block buses from leaving to pick up students for summer school. The Detroit Police Department took no action against the protesters until July 16, when the protests extended to the garage of a private bus company. At least a dozen people have been arrested.