Sick-outs close more Detroit schools

- Wednesday marks the third day in a row this week that multiple Detroit Public Schools have been closed due to a high number of teacher absences.

Five schools have been reported closed Wednesday: Durfee, Keidan, Mason, Ronald Brown and Schulze. A sixth school, Bunche, is also closed due to a power outage. DPS teachers are taking these measures to gain attention to their concerns about the state of the schools.

"Teachers have not been silent about these issues. These are things that we've been saying for years and years and year. We've been identifying the problem; we've been trying to call attention to it. It has not had results. The laws are not in our favor. The emergency manager has not been receptive to us; the governor has not been receptive to us. We had to cause an interruption," says DPS teacher NAME.

That strategy could be working. 

Mayor Mike Duggan took a tour of several schools Tuesday and saw the problems up close.

"I saw a dead mouse in a classroom," Duggan said. But it's not just mice. There are also complaints from teachers of mold problems and other issues with the building.

"Lansing has got to deal with this issue with some urgency," Duggan added.

"Our goal is to get the DPS schools to be successufl. I've proposed a package that involves an investment of over $700 million to improve education in Detroit. I'm not sure why people would want to go out and protest against having a solution like that come to Detroit," Gov. Snyder said. He's speaking on his proposal that would split the district in half, which is another thing teachers are taking a stand against as well.

While this isn't a strike, Detroit Public Schools teachers know that strikes are illegal and say they've been pushed into a corner because of pay reductions, class-size, debt management and now the classroom itself.

There have been talks of a city-wide teacher sick-out on January 20, but there's still two more school days in this week and teachers say it's likely some sick-outs will continue on those days as well.

This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates.

 


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