Hundreds of Detroit teachers protest during sick-out

- More than 80 Detroit Public Schools were closed on Wednesday as hundreds of teachers called in sick. But there was no mystery illness being passed around, they were holding another sick-out and marching downtown to protest the conditions of the schools.

It may be the last one, however, as DPS files an injunction to prevent more sick-outs.

Teachers protested outside Cobo center, where President Barack Obama toured the auto show. They weren't alone. A student was there with them and not in school.

"I think we should have better schools and better stuff for the children. It's like 33 kids (in classrooms)," DPS student Latrell Maxwell said.

The protest was the largest one yet: 88 of the 97 Detroit Public Schools were closed on Wednesday. Now that more details of the school conditions are coming out, parents are standing with the teachers.

"It's time. I just want to support the teachers and I definitely want to support my child because he is the product of a DPS student," Melissa Redman said.

Deplorable conditions in a numer of the schools is high on the list for why teachers like Katrice Robinson say enough is enough.

"These are inhumane conditions that which we work under. No one should have to work in these types of conditions and children should not have to sit in these types of schools that are not clean and unsafe," Robinson said.

Day to day, teachers say DPS is not fully equipped to prepare our young people as they are in the suburbs.

"We still have over populated classrooms. I have a colleague who teaches German and he's teaching textbooks from 1998, and he has 18 textbooks, but 35 students in a classroom," Kiarra Armborse said.

Teachers say these problems are nothing new and they've been going on for years, maybe even decades and that these drastic measures are needed. But the sick-outs may not help much. Instead, they could hurt DPS chances at getting more funding from the state. DPS is hundreds of millions of dollars in the hole, and needs help from Lansing to get out of the red. DPS says these sick-outs are only making matters worse.

"Because legislators are looking at us and seeing you got teachers who are calling out sick when they're not sick. So, how are they supposed to invest in district when you have teachers taking action like this," Michelle Zdrodowski said.

The injunction filed by DPS will be reviewed by a judge who will decide whether to uphold this warning. If that happens, teachers who take part in future sick-outs could face punishment in court.


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