Detroit schools sickout case dropped

- The case against the Detroit Federation of Teachers and its interim president was dismissed Thursday.

Judge Cynthia Stephens of the Michigan Court of Claims ruled against Detroit Public Schools' claim that DFT and interim president Ivy Bailey's comments on strikes authorized sickouts that resulted in school closings over the past several weeks.

"Now I don't have spend my time in court on something to me that was more retalitory than just factual information," Bailey said.

Stephens said she failed to find evidence to support the claim.

"They are statements of possible planning to do someting at some point in time. Neither of those things are inducing directly a work stoppage," she said.

Although the case against DFT had been dismissed, the judge ruled to proceed with DPS's case against two teachers, Steven Conn and Nicole Conaway. An attorney for DPS argued that Conn and Conaway have encouraged sickouts, which are illegal in the state of Michigan. That case will begin March 7.

Conn and Conaway said they will not back down

"What this is about a fight for democracy and democratic voting rights for the people of Flint, Benton Harbor, Pontiac and every other community that has been taken over by these cynical racism Jim Crow policies," Conway said.

Conn agreed, saying that they plan to continue to advocate for uprising against the "destruction of these schools."

After the judge rendered her decision, protesters took to the streets. DPS officials released the following statement regarding the decision:

"The district is disappointed in the judge's decision to dismiss the DFT. However, we look forward to being able to prove our allegations against the perpetrators of the wildcat strikes that have taken 12 days of instruction away from the more than 46,000 students of Detroit Public Schools."

However, DFT officials said it's time to move forward.

"I don't think the sickout will continue. Right now, the teachers are focused on resolutions," Bailey said.

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