GRANT, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grant Public School District is ending its contract with a health center inside of the district’s middle school. The decision came months after some parents raised concerns about a mural at the clinic, which featured LGBTQ+ symbols.
Monday night, Grant school board members voted to terminate the district’s contract with Family Health Care, which operates the Child and Adolescent Health Center. The decision will go into effect in 90 days.
“What I feel like I witnessed last night was complete disregard from the school board for the feeling and insight of the community in regards to the health center,” said Lindsay Mahlich, a Grant Public Schools parent.
According to GPS Superintendent Brett Zuver, a vote on the health center was not on the original agenda and was added by a board member. The decision left some feeling surprised.
“At our Board meeting Monday night there was a surprise motion made and passed by four GPS Board members to terminate the contract of the Child and Adolescent Health Center housed in one of our buildings. Unfortunately, it will negatively impact hundreds of children and families in our community,” Zuver wrote in a statement.
Those at the meeting say the board pointed to a number of concerns as the driving force behind the decision.
“All of the reasons that were cited by the school board were more in regards to operations and communications,” Mahlich said.
Last year, some parents also showed worries about a mural inside of the health center that displayed some characters wearing clothing with LGBTQ+ symbols.
Julie Tatko, the CEO of Family Health Care, said the company hadn’t received negative feedback about the artwork recently.
“We have not had continued conversations about the mural in regards to discontent about it or reactions,” Tatko said.
Last year, the health center served 658 patients. Tatko says getting rid of the service will have a big impact on children.
“Right now, they have a great resource where they don’t have to spend much time away from class in order to receive services and now it will require parents to come pick up their kids and take them to other healthcare,” Tatko said.
She now hopes to open a discussion on exactly why the contract was ended.
“We would like to understand better what the board’s objection is to the services, to find out if there’s any possibility for a positive way to move forward and we hope that the community is also going to be able to talk about the value of these services and what a difference it’s made for them and tell that to the board directly,” Tatko said.
The Child and Adolescent Health Center will continue to provide services at Grant Middle School until the contract ends.
News 8 also reached out to Grant school board members.