DETROIT (WJBK) - Students in Detroit are missing even more class time because of ongoing teacher sick-outs. However, worried parents say poor conditions inside the schools keep kids from learning, even when the teachers are there.
Students arrived Wednesday at Durfee Elementary and Middle School to a note that said there would be no school. It was one of five closed for the day due to a teacher sick-out. The teachers are citing terrible conditions to teach and learn.
"Sometimes it would be cold and then after lunch it would be warm," DPS student J'Sean Sackleford said.
On Tuesday, the mayor got a first-hand look at what the kids are describing including crumbling ceilings, mushrooms growing out of the wall and a dead mouse in the classroom. The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schools says these same problems have been around for more than a year and frankly the teachers are fed up.
"Teachers have to be advocates for themselves and advocates for children and advocates for education and they're showing their power," Tonya Allen, CEO of the Skillman Foundation, said.
The coalition says they put together a set of recommendations in March of 2015. They claim everyone has access to the information but nobody is acting. The teachers have some on their side: the parents.
"Governor, please speak up and do something about DPS schools. Our kids need a safe environment and they need to be in school everyday," Shawanda Shackleford said.
But the teacher sick-outs seem to be working, according to Cass Tech teacher Erica Jones, who says the short-term losses will pay off in the long-term.
"The fire is not down. It's getting bigger," Jones said. "I think one or two days is not bad. We're not taking a full fledged strike. We're leaving for a day to get our voice heard."
The emergency manager in charge of DPS did not return FOX 2's requests for comment.