Davison schools push back against Michigan’s mask mandate, COVID-19 testing rules

Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 7:15 PM EDT
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DAVISON, Mich. (WJRT) - Davison Community Schools is pushing back against current safety requirements in a letter to Michigan’s health department and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

The district specifically disagrees with the mask mandate and frequent COVID-19 testing for student-athletes. But parents are mixed on the schools’ stance.

In the letter, the district disagrees with the state’s requirement that all student-athletes be tested weekly for COVID-19, calling it an unnecessary overreach and an infringement on student-athletes’ rights.

The letter also states disagrees with student-athletes being required to wear masks during outdoor sports. Administrators also believe that children age 2 and older should not be required to wear masks.

Abbigail Mezey has a child in preschool in Davison. She sees where the district is coming from in some respects, especially regarding student-athletes.

“I feel like they should wear it just because they’re older, they understand it and they know what’s going on and they know the risks,” Mezey said.

When it comes to kids and masks, her son uses his while he’s around lots of others between classes.

“My son does wear it when he comes in and out of the building, which I think is a good thing, just because he’s around all the other classes coming in and out then,” Mezey said.

Karie Venable has a little child who will be going to preschool in the district in the next couple years.

“I personally feel we need to keep our kids safe,” she said. “They’re going to be our new generation. They’re going to be the people leading the world when we’re in our 50s, 60s, 70s and up.”

The contents of the Davison schools letter are not sitting well with Venable, who only wants the best for her two kids.

“It kind of upsets me personally,” she said. “It makes me think twice about putting my kids in Davison schools.”

It’s unclear whether Davison Community Schools will follow through on its letter and drop the requirement for young children students and athletes to wear masks. District administrators did not return messages seeking comment Monday.

Clare Public Schools put out a similar letter in March. It reads, in part:

“As an administrative team, we do not support the COVID-19 testing of all spring athletes. The transfer of ‘blame’ for the spread of the virus to high school students and student-athletes is not appropriate. Blaming teenage student-athletes for a virus that is behaving like a virus is wrong.”

Clare administrators say they only support COVID-19 testing for athletes in contact sports.

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