The holidays are finally over, people are returned to their respective homes, and offices have resumed their operations. It is the time to start over again and get serious. However, that would be different for the students of Detroit, as they have been forced to undergo a further holiday due to an unexpected and unplanned teacher “sick-out” that led the school system to shut down almost two thirds of the public schools in the city.
Parents of the students in Detroit received a heads-up by the public school system of the city on Sunday, warning them to be in expectation of a “high number” of closures in schools by Monday. As of this morning, 62 schools had been closed for the day.
This is not a good feeling for the students, who were initially enthusiastic about a new academic session. Those who were eager to reunite with their pals after the holidays have been left at home due to so-called “sick-outs.”
The “sick-outs” area protest march that has reportedly been schemed by the local labor leader, Steve Conn. Giving a statement to the reporters at the meeting held on Sunday night, Conn said, “Teachers are staying out and we are fighting back, and we are building for a citywide strike.”
According to the alerts sent to parents in the city on Sunday, this protests was the handwork of a “minority” of teachers.
Detroit’s official teacher’s union (Detroit Federation of Teachers) made it clear on Sunday that they have no intention whatsoever in voting for a strike. The president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, Ivy Bailey, stated, “We haven’t sanctioned the sick-outs, but I want everyone to understand the frustration.”
No one seems certain how the teachers feel or what prompted them to take this action. However, a report from WXYZ tells us that the public school teachers in Detroit have complained about the condition of the city, stating that the state budgets are so tight that help in the educational sector is lacking, thereby imposing a barrier on the flexibility of students’ education.
Labor leader Conn, who has consistently referred to himself as “the elected DFT president,” said “Our back is to the wall. We did not invent this situation, but we are going to solve this situation.” Although Conn has been quite enthusiastic about the whole issue, he was, however, kicked out of the DFT position last year August for reason of misconduct, according to WXYZ.
From the alerts received from the school system, we are told that a minimum of four schools in the city last week were forced to close due to “a high volume of teacher absences.”
The superintendent of Michigan school beckoned on teachers on Friday to “end their systematic plans of not reporting to work.”
Brian Whiston, the Superintendent of Michigan School said, “I understand that teachers in Detroit Public Schools have real concerns about the financial, academic, and structural future of their schools, but for the sakes of their students, they need to be in the classrooms teaching.”