DPS parents, students wrestle with sickout fallout

Image 1 of 3

We've heard from Detroit Public School teachers but what do parents and students think about the battle over pay.

No one is choosing sides.

"I understand," said Barbara Debost, DPS grandmother. "I'm not saying 'Go back to work whether you get paid or not.' That's not the way it works. I can't do that."

For a Detroit Public School parent it boils down to one thing:

"Where is the money? where is the money?" Debost said.

"The solution is, take the politics out and put the children first," said Lemathia Champion, DPS parent.

It was at this meeting at the Detroit Parent Network,  where parents learned of the promise from lawmakers to pay teachers to finish out the school year.

As for the state legislators? "We're going to keep their feet to the fire," said one parent.

A frustration which has been bubbling to the surface all year long. 

"This a major disruption for 47,000 children," said Sharlonda Buckman, CEO of the Detroit Parent's Network.

It goes beyond sick-outs, and lock-outs.

"In the schools that I go to, I see the ceilings caved in, we've got leaks, roaches," said Kareem Denis, DPS student.

Children like Kareem Denis know what's at stake.

"It's not only affecting them. it's affecting everyone else," he said.

And parents know what an unplanned day without school can bring.

"They are not in school so they are not learning anything," said one parent. "So they are just tearing up stuff."

"We are hearing a lot of stories around safety," Buckman said. "Around what can we do to ensure that we get to the bottom of this."

They've come here to share concerns and even offer a way out, hoping it's not too late.

FOX 2: "Is there ever going to be a point where you say it's not worth it, we are finding a new district?"

"Thoughts have occurred," said Russell Sharpe. "But we are going to try and ride it out for the best right now."

And knowing that for some - time is running out.

"I'm going into 10th grade next year," Denis said.  "In two years I'm going to be going to college. What is there to do if this doesn't get changed."

The parents inside the building behind me have one thing in common - they want to see their kids succeed. But they are not convinced we won't be back here next year.