Detroit teacher 'sick-out' causes school closures

- Seven Detroit Public Schools were forced to close their doors Thursday.

A group of teachers took another stand by staging the second teacher sick-out in early December.

It caused classes to be canceled for nearly 4,000 DPS students, followed by a teacher's rally Thursday evening outside the Detroit School of Arts.

"The strike movement is going to sweep the city," said Steve Conn, former Detroit Federation of Teachers president. "We want quality public education now."

Teachers have expressed major disapproval for Gov. Rick Synder's school reform efforts. The governor has proposed paying off hundreds of millions of DPS debt, and creating a new  school district to educate children in Detroit.

Also, DPS has been under state control since 2009, and during that time teachers have dealt with less money, but more health insurance costs.

But parents who dropped off their kids on Thursday were upset by the approach that teachers took.

"It's disappointing because they should have let us known this ahead of time," said one parent. "And I have to go to work so this is a trip I really didn't have to make."

"Now all of sudden they don't get their money," said another parent. "They not getting what they want, they stopping school, that's not right."

"I would say to the students, I would say to the parents to join the movement," Conn said. "We're not going to warehouse students. We want real education. The only way to have our voices is by strike action. we've got to do it."

The DPS emergency manager sent FOX 2 a statement saying in part:

"Responsible adults should never allow their differences of opinion or disagreements to interfere with the education of our students. This continued abuse of sick time by a small group of DPS teachers does nothing to help the district achieve its goal of improving academic achievement and becoming a solvent and sustainable school system."

Organizers say don't expect this to be the last teacher sickout, saying they can't promise what they will do on Friday.

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