DETROIT (WJBK) - Crushing debt, delapitated schools, and classes cancelled due to teacher sickouts. The mess that is Detroit Public Schools is getting bigger but they now have men and women of faith on their side for the sake of the students.
Pastor and NAACP President for Detroit Wendell Anthony is standing by DPS teachers. He says deplorable conditions, overcrowded classrooms, and lack of resources are only a few reasons why roughly 20 pastors and the local NAACP chapter are the reason they're all standing up and making their voices heard.
"At some point the dam has got to break. All we're saying Governor and legislature, fix this," Anthony said.
Rev. Dr. Reginald Smith speaks from the pulpit at Union Grace Baptist Church. He said if this was any other district, parents' voices would be loud and clear and the prooblem needs to be solved.
"Nobody else would allow their kids to go to classrooms like this in other districts in other places across the State of Michigan," Smith said.
Teachers and DPS leaders will have their day in court next week before a judge. Right now three State Senators are pushing legislation that would make it easier to fine teachers and revoke their certification if they take part in more sick-outs or even a strike at some point.
Whether you agree or disagree with the tactics, it's gotten the attention of plenty of people.
"I want to commend our teachers. Because of your courage, your continue fight, you have brought this issue to the forefront of not just this City, but the nation. You've shaken the system, you've challenged the system," Detroit Councilwoman Mary Sheffield said.
Although Anthony and his fellow pastors stand by teachers in Detroit Public School, Anthony also wants to make it clear he supports the Union, and not any outside efforts.
"We support the legitimate leadership of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, not any rouge individual or organization to want to use the authority, rank or power of the duly elected DFT to do their job," Anthony said.
With all of the teacher sick-outs we've seen in Detroit, Anthony says the bottom line is this:
"Teachers don't want to be civil rights leaders, we don't want to be out here doing this man, it's cold outside! Teachers want to teach."