Parent group fighting to re-open Ann Arbor schools raises needed $30K legal fees in less than a day

by Peter Heck · Feb 20th, 2021 4:16 pm

Last Updated Feb 21st, 2021 at 9:43 pm

A group of parents calling themselves "Ann Arbor Reasonable Return" is taking aggressive steps to get their kids back in school. Local media reported that the Ann Arbor School Board recently held a "lengthy and thoroughly confusing discussion" that resulted in a decision to keep the vast majority of their students confined to their homes for virtual learning through the rest of the school year.

The resolution directs the superintendent to identify the students with "the greatest needs," who will be returned to school for in-person learning by March 22nd. The remainder of the student body will remain at home. The final plan will be voted on and adopted by the board Tuesday.

After the meeting, parents from the school corporation who had previously organized to push for a safe return, started a GoFundMe page for the purpose of raising money so that they could hire attorneys and sue the school system. The "Ann Arbor Reasonable Return" group sought $30,000 from donations in order to effectively challenge the board's decision.

They had raised the full amount within a single day. The law firm Bodman PLC was immediately retained by the group to begin the suit.

"There are real children on the other side of the virtual learning screens that thought they were returning to school by March 1, as Governor Whitmer urged," the group organizer posted on their page. "They are confused and sad having already heard from their teachers about a hybrid plan that now may not happen. That is why it means so much to be able to point this and show them how much people really care about them."

Organizers say they are leaving their GoFundMe page up so that they can be adequately prepared for future developments in what they understand could be a protracted legal challenge .


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