Open letter: 120,000 parents demand no mask or vax mandate for kids in Michigan schools

"We believe in choice and parental rights"

(WWJ) More than 100 parent groups representing a couple of hundred thousand parents in Michigan have a message for the powers that be:

They do not want their children required to be masked, tested, vaccinated, or quarantined in order to attend public schools or play school sports in the fall.

In an open letter addressed to President Joe Biden, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the CDC, state health department leadership and school administrators, the groups (school down for the list) say they've "had enough" of such mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although public health officials continue to stress the importance of face coverings, routine testing and vaccinations in keeping the virus and its variants from spreading, these groups contend that this "government overreach" is unnecessary, and in fact harmful to students.

What they're asking for is a choice.

The letter reads as follows:

"We represent approximately 120,000 parents from over 100 parent advocacy groups in the great State of Michigan and we hereby inform you that we will not allow a repeat of the 2020-2021 school year.

"We parents have had enough of forced mandates, knee-jerk reactions and government overreach into decision-making regarding the well-being of our children. We will not co-parent with the government. We have watched our children succumb to harm at the hands of government, special interest groups and inept leadership, and will not tolerate the continuation of it. We believe in choice and parental rights. We believe that all children should have the right to an education, free from mandates that have not been proven necessary or beneficial. Universal and “one size fits all” approaches have failed Michigan’s school children. Children are not political pawns and our tax dollars are not to be used to cater to the demands of special interest groups, unions or any other political organization.

"As we enter the 2021-2022 school year, parents must have a choice. Education will not be conditioned upon wearing a mask, scheduled COVID testing, or vaccination status. Our children will not be mandated to miss school for 14 days due to close contact quarantines. Parents will be the decision makers for the health and well-being of our children and we will no longer remain silent. We will stand up for our children and their rights.

"To the school boards, school administrators, local government leaders and businesses who have respected parental choice, we applaud you. We anticipate and appreciate your continued support of children and our rights as parents to do what is best for them as individuals. We do not wish to take away from the learning environment of any child, and therefore support choices for individual families.

"For the officials who do not support parents and our right to choose, please take note. Our voices, our votes and our dollars will be directed to the schools, candidates and businesses that support Michigan’s parents and students. Calls for mandates, lockdowns and universal masking in schools are not rooted in science, and have caused significant harm to the most vulnerable in our state.

"We parents have made this known to you for over a year, and yet your message continues to be one of authority and cruelty, disregarding the social and emotional well-being of Michigan’s 1.4 million students. Over 120,000 of us (and growing) have linked arms as mothers, fathers, educators, healthcare professionals and community members to make sure that parents always have a seat at the table when the issue is the education of our children. We implore you to do what is right, and to stop pushing fear, political agendas and bad science at the feet of our most precious members of society. Enough is enough.

WE WILL NOT BE SILENT.

Sincerely,

MICHIGAN Save Our Kids Open Our Schools

Let Them Play Michigan, Inc.

Americans Against Forced Vaccinations

Archdiocese of Detroit Catholic School Parents for Liberty

Bay County Parents Against Close Contact Quarantines

Berrien County Parents for School Freedoms

Bloomingdale Our Children, Our Choice

Bluewater Informed Families & Community Together

BPS Parents for Liberty

Caro Community Parents

Cass City Parents Stand Up

Centerline Public Schools United Parents

Cheboygan Freedom Fighters

Chelsea Return to Learn

Chippewa County Business Owners

Chippewa Valley Schools-Take Back Our Schools

Clare County Parents Against Mask & Vaccine Mandates

Clarkston Parents United

Clarkston Schools Parent Advocates

Common Sense for Grosse Pointe Schools

Coopersville Community for Medical Freedom

Dundee Families Against Forced Mandates & Recommendations

East China School District Parents

Eaton Rapids Students First

Edwardsburg Parent Network

Escanaba Parents Against Restrictions

FEC United Michigan

Forest Hills for Just Education

Fowlerville Parents United

Frankenmuth Families Taking a Stand

Free Our Lake Orion Community Schools Students

Freedom for Fall-Van Buren County

Freedom for Flushing Kids

Freeland Parents Stand Up

Freeschoolers of Michigan

Fruitport Parents Stand Up

Galesburg Augusta Parents for Choice

Gladiator Pride! Fowlerville Parent and Community Page

Gladwin Parents Against Forced Masks and Forced Testing

Grand Haven Conservative Parents

Grand Ledge Parents for In-Person Learning

Grand Rapids Diocese Catholic Schools Families for Medical Freedom

Get Northville Kids Back to School

Hopkins Breathing Freely

Huron Valley Schools Parent Advocates

Informed Choice Michigan

Informed Parents of Allendale

Informed Parents of Michigan

Informed Parents of Kalamazoo and Portage Public Schools

Informed Parents of Mona Shores Public Schools

Informed Parents of Ottawa and Kent

Informed Parents of Spring Lake

Island Parents (Grosse Ille)

JPS for Youth

Lowell Kids 1st

Marysville Parents for Quality Education

Mecosta County Parents for Freedom of Choice in our Schools

Michigan Educators Advocating for Freedom Michigan Patriots-Genesee County

Michigan for Vaccine Choice

Michigan Health Choice Alliance

Moms for Liberty-Ingham County

Moms for Liberty-Livingston County

Moms for Liberty-Macomb County

Monroe Public Parents, Standing Up for Our Children

Montague Parents Speak Out

Muskegon County Parents Unite

Neutral Education at Hudsonville Public Schools

Open Up MSU & U of M

Ortonville Parents Standing Up for Our Kids

Otsego and Plainwell Parents for Choice

Ottawa County Parent Voices for Freedom of Health Choice

Ottawa Impact

Our Children, Our Choice

Parent Voices of EGR

Parents Against Tyranny

Parents Peacefully Protesting Mask Mandates

Parents of Wayne/Westland Public Schools

Patriot Parents of Rochester Hills

P-CCS Families for F2F

Reed City Parents/Community Members Against Masks

Reeths Puffer Informed Parents

Riverview Parents Against Masks

Rochester Community Schools Parents for In-person Education

Saline Supports Return to Learn

South Lyon Families Who Support In-person Learning

Southgate Parents Against Mandates

Speak Up Sparta

Stand Up & Fight for Yale Students

Stand Up Blue Devils-Richmond

Stand Up Bulldogs-Romeo

Stand Up Byron Center

Stand Up Cal (Caledonia)

Stand Up Calhoun County

Stand Up CAPS (Coopersville Area Public Schools)

Stand Up Cedar Springs

Stand Up Clinton County

Stand Up for Freedom & Our Kids-Ogemaw County

Stand Up Kent County

Stand Up Lenawee County

Stand Up Rockford

Stand Up TK

Stand Up Wayland

Summerfield Parents for Autonomy

Time for a Change in Linden, Michigan

Unite Downriver Free Our Children

United Downriver Free Our Children

United Parents of Livonia Public Schools

United Parents of St. Clair County

U-M Livingston County

Unmask Clinton County

Unmask National Heritage Academies

Unmask Our Bedford Kids

Unmask Our Children-Lapeer

Unmask Our Children Michigan

Unmask Our Kids Garden City

Unmask Our Kids North Branch

Unmask Shiawassee County

Unmask the Children of Ida

Utica Community Schools Parents Against the School Board

Vicksburg Parents Against C-19 Mandates

Walled Lake Parents Supporting In-Person Education

Waterford Schools United for Choice

West End Local Voices Marquette

Whitehall Informed Parents Stand Up Armada Tigers

Senator Kim LaSata, Chair, Appropriations Subcommittee on Universities & Community Colleges

Senator Lana Theis, Chair, Senate Committee on Education and Career Readiness

Senator Jim Runestad, District 15"

Readers should note that Michigan does not currently have a statewide mask or vaccine mandate in place.

However, Whitmer said Monday she hopes that schools — which have been allowed to set their own rules — will heed the CDC, which recommends that masks be worth in public school classrooms.

“We know that the Delta variant is spreading, that it remains a very serious concern and that children cannot be vaccinated yet under 12," said the governor, "and that's why we really are strongly encouraging districts to adopt masking policies."