Protesters Shut Down Summer School In Detroit Over COVID Fears

They blocked buses -- and won.

WWJ News
July 13, 2020 - 8:58 am
protest schools reopening

(Photo: Vickie Thomas/WWJ)

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(WWJ) Up to 1,000 protesters singing and chanting with bullhorns outside a school bus yard managed to stop the buses and shut down Detroit's plans to summer school sessions Monday morning.

Protesters complained that it wasn't safe to send Detroit's kids back to class for the summer, especially since the suburbs are keeping classrooms closed.

One bus driver told WWJ's Vickie Thomas he quit right then and there rather than head out to pick up kids. 

"I stand with God and not with man," he said.

It's unclear if Detroit will amend its plans permanently, change bus routes or take another option. Buses didn't leave the yard Monday, and the district was expected to unveil further plans in a press release.

DPS Superintendent Nikoli Vitti revealed summer school plans to CNN, saying the school system has seen a “desperate need” for in-person learning.

“The online learning wasn’t ideal and our children have fallen farther behind,” Vitti said.

Protesters said their next step is to seek and injunction permanently closing plans for summer school.

The district had defended its plans to start summer school, revealing plans to keep kids socially distanced and more. But parents and others didn't feel it was enough.

Driver Todd Weams said he was glad when he got to the yard and saw the protesters.

"They helped with my encouragement to do the right thing," Weams said.