DPS teacher files whistleblower lawsuit against district

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Supporters held a news conference hours after Detroit Public Schools teacher Katrina Brown testified in court. He attorney filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint on Brown’s behalf.

“I would like to come back to John R. King. I would like the water fixed,” said Brown.

The water is contaminated with lead and copper. Brown unexpectedly received word in May of 2016 that she was being transferred from John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy to another Detroit Public School.

Brown and her attorney allege the transfer was in retaliation for Brown repeatedly fighting for clean drinking water for the students.

“Clean drinking water and adequate amounts of water - that was my number one priority,” said Brown. “We kept asking for water. We sent memos downtown asking for water and no one heard us until we reached out to UAW and they were kind enough to send over a truck full of water.”

Brown also says she urged the district to test the students for lead and copper levels after she was tested.

“I had rashes and my hair was falling out. I didn’t know what was going on. I asked them to check my blood levels. When the tests came back, it said I had abnormal levels of copper in my body.”

Brown says the school district refused to have children tested, saying it was up to the parents.

“We want the Detroit school board that has the power to do something, to act. They must act now. There is federal funding to support cleaning up contaminated water in schools,” said Shanta Driver, Brown’s attorney.