As the new month is in full swing, and the holiday season is approaching, COVID -19 cases in Michigan schools still seem to be an ongoing issue. Mlive reported, that last week saw 104 new COVID-19 outbreaks linked to schools. That takes the total of students and staff infected to 666.

Unfortunately, leading the way with the most cases of the coronavirus is Carman- Ainsworth High School right here in Genesee County. The beginning of November saw the high reporting 55 cases of the virus. Not exactly a top spot any school wants to claim. So why the uptick and unwanted recognition?

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If you ask Kameron Motley and LaMar Calvert II, both Carman-Ainsworth seniors, what the problem is, they will tell you plenty. Recently Flint Beat reported that the student felt that the high school was an “unhealthy and contaminated environment".

In an interview with a popular Flint media outlet, the students told Flint Beat that they are so concerned about their health and overall wellbeing, that they have asked the school to cancel in-person classes for 2 weeks while the school goes through a major deep cleaning.

“We’re around hundreds of kids, seven hours a day, five days a week. I don’t think (the administration) understands that. I don’t think they understand that that’s where our anxiety is coming from,” Calvert said in the interview. 

The two students feel so strongly about their stance, with the support of several fellow students as well, that they drafted a letter to the district asking for action to be taken. The letter addresses their concerns, and goes on to present three proposals of action; that the district shut down for two weeks to clean and continue cleaning regularly when students return, to give students the option of hybrid learning, and to require temperature checks upon entry into the school.

In addition, Flint Beat noted that Motley had planned a peaceful walkout for Friday, Nov. 5, but said Principal Charles LaClear "told students he would cancel commencement if they followed through with it."

“I feel like he thinks that we’re trying to do this with malicious intent. That’s not how we move. We want to have a bold statement to get our message across. Because we feel like people don’t listen to young voices as much as they should unless we take a stand for something,” Calvert told Flint Beat. 

We reached out to Principal LaClear for his side for a statement, but at the time of this story we had not received a response. 

It seems, in my opinion, that the students are being proactive and trying to find some common, safe ground during some pretty unprecedented times. In all, you can't help but admire their mission, and celebrate desire have their voices heard.

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