After teacher dies of COVID-19 in rural Michigan, Detroit educators call for unified fight against unsafe school openings | #students | #parents

The following statement was released by the Detroit Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee after the tragic death of Michelle McCrackin, an educator in rural Michigan and mother of five, died from COVID-19.

In early September, the Detroit Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee formed our organization with a clear statement declaring, “It is not safe to reopen Detroit schools.” We insisted that educators, students and parents should not lay down their lives in a poorly designed, underfunded and deadly experiment whose sole aim is to get children out of their homes so their parents can be sent back into the factories and other workplaces to produce corporate profit.

From the beginning, our committee called on educators across the state to join us to prevent the spread of the deadly disease, which infects its victims whether they are from urban, suburban or rural areas and no matter what their race, gender or ethnic background.

Michelle McCrackin (Source: Facebook)

We have now learned of the first death of an educator in Michigan since the reopening of schools for the fall semester. Michelle McCrackin, an educator for 14 years and 53-year-old mother of five, died last week in Carson City, a rural town of 1,100 residents in central Michigan. Michelle died just three days after calling in sick at the Carson City—Crystal Area School District (CC-C), a small district with around 900 students, which is 135 miles northwest of Detroit.

The Detroit Rank-and-File Safety Committee offers our deepest condolences to her family and co-workers. We pledge to step up our fight to unify educators across the state around demands that put the well-being of our children, co-workers and communities first.

The Carson City-Crystal schools opened on August 24 without about three-quarters of its students attending in person. A month after opening, the first infection was reported. One week later, Michelle was dead and 15 other staff and students tested positive. The schools are now under remote learning only.

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