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Detroit Sick-Outs Reach Peak with Almost All Public Schools Closed Today

Detroit Sick-Outs Reach Peak with Almost All Public Schools Closed Today

As President Obama gets ready to visit Detroit’s International Auto Show to see the progress that the city’s auto industry has made, the city’s teachers continue protesting the lack of progress in its public school system.

Today, according to The Detroit Free Press, 88 of the city’s schools were closed due to continued “sick-outs,” or teacher absences in protest to what has been described as deplorable learning conditions throughout the city’s schools.

Despite the school system’s officials trying to encourage teachers to stay in school for the students’ benefit these past couple weeks, teachers have spoken out publicly to say that enough is enough.

In a district of about 100 schools, the system had more luck this morning posting what was open as opposed to what was closed; thousands of students were forced to stay home.

"Teachers have been using rolling sickouts in recent weeks to spotlight the poor conditions of dilapidated schools. Many say they’re also concerned about stagnant wages, super-sized classes and Gov. Rick Snyder’s controversial plan to divide DPS into two, creating a new debt-free school district,” said The Detroit Free Press.

One Detroit teacher, Lakai Wilson, told CNN that teachers’ relationship with DPS officials is like an abusive relationship where they “stay for the kids.” But they have reached a breaking point, citing unbearable working conditions and taking to social media to share pictures of filth and disarray.

"The Detroit Federation of Teachers has not sanctioned any sickouts. The DFT will, however, hold an after-school rally at 3:30 p.m. today in Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. Another rally is planned for 3 p.m. outside Clippert Academy to protest the layoffs of bilingual clerical staff at some schools,” said The Detroit Free Press.

Many are hopeful that two bills tackling public education issues in the city will be put into effect within the next two weeks.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/20/2016

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