Detroit schools EM files injunction to stop sick-outs

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Another day, another sick out for the teachers of Detroit Public Schools.

Nearly all of the district's schools were closed today. The district's emergency manager has filed for a temporary injunction to keep teachers in the classroom.

And a protest group is threatening more sick-outs tomorrow. The gloves are coming off in the fight over DPS sick-outs the next round will likely play out in the court room - but chances are it won't be settled there.

DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is drawing a line in the sand, seeking a temporary  injunction as  a remedy to the sick-outs.

About 88 schools were shut down Wednesday because of them.

"We're going to continue to fight," said activist Steve Conn. "We will find a way to continue this fight  and I  don't think this injunction has any room here at all."

Former Detroit teachers union president Steve Conn is one of the 28 defendants named in the lawsuit.

DPS says the sickouts are "depriving students of their right to attend school. Adversely impacting their academic progress and forcing parents to miss work."

DPS parent Tawnny Cook says she was fired from her job of less than a year, last week.

"My job that I got fired from can't jeopardize their money or their funding by saying DPS has a sickout, sure," said Tawnny Cook, A DPS mom. "Sure you can call off for four days."
Her four children attend Burton International Academy and she says as of Wednesday they've missed four days of school.

"I feel for that parent," said Mayowa Lisa Reynolds, DPS teacher. "And if there's anything I can do to help her get a job or get her job back, I would do it. Because we have to stand up for what is right."

Teachers like Reynolds say the stakes are too high for them to let up now. They've worked years without raises  while watching their insurance rise

Teachers are leaving the district and class sizes are swelling, and the conditions in many school buildings are deplorable.

"The 120,000 children in Detroit deserve better," Reynolds said. "And it’s time for us to go down in history as having stood up for it, because they've taken everything."

It would seem teachers are more than willing to break a court order if a judge green lights the injunction

"It’s amazing that DPS wants to fight in this way," said Ann Mitchell, DFT administrator. "We're going to stand with our teachers we're going to represent them. There are big issues going on that they're calling attention to."

But Emergency Manager Darnell Earley says the sickouts are not the way do it.

He released a statement saying: "Closing schools for reasons such as today and on previous dates further jeopardizes the limited resources the district has available to educate its students and address the many challenges it faces. We have heard teachers' concerns and identified short and long-term solutions to several key issues."

A court date has not been set, but a lawyer for one of the teachers named in that lawsuit says the sure way to defeat an injunction is for another sick out Thursday.