At least 50 DPS schools closed due to sick-outs

Posted: 2:35 PM, Jan 10, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-11 10:26:46-05
At least 50 DPS schools closed due to sick-outs
At least 50 DPS schools closed due to sick-outs

Detroit Public Schools issued a special alert for parents of students over the possibility of a number of school closings on today due to sick-outs.

This morning, at least 50 DPS schools are closed because of the sick-outs. 


Last week, at least five schools closed on different days because of the sick-outs.

The Detroit Federation of Teachers said it is not supporting the protests that force the closure f schools at this time.

“We haven’t sanctioned the sick-outs, but I want everyone to understand the frustration,” said Ivy Bailey, Interim President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

“It’s clear that teachers are feeling an overwhelming sense of frustration over the challenges that they and all DPS employees face as they do their jobs each day,” DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Earley said in a statement. “We understand and share their frustration. However, given the reality of the District’s financial distress, it is becoming clearer every day that the only way that we are going to be able to address these serious issues in any way is through an investment in DPS by the Michigan Legislature. Unfortunately, obtaining that support becomes more challenging with each closure of a school due to a teacher sick-out.”

The person behind the sick-outs is Steve Conn.  He introduces himself as “the elected DFT president.”  The DFT’s interim president said he was kicked out of power in August for misconduct.

Other teachers say he is not behind the sick-outs and that a group of teachers is responsible. They said he is taking credit for the sick-outs.

According to Earley, he and his team will "continue to share districtwide concerns with the Governor's administration as well as with legislators. We will continue to elevate that discussion because it too is critical to a long-term successful outcome for Detroit Public Schools and its students.”

Detroit Teachers Fight Back, a group that refers to itself as "A union Within a Union," released a statement Monday:

"Just as doctors take the Hippocratic Oath to uphold ethical standards, teachers also take a Loyalty Oath to serve, protect and allow no harm. Unfortunately, we have been unable to live up to that with the constant change of leadership, state control and 4 consecutive Emergency Managers."

The group said it was planning to participate in a solidarity rally at noon Monday at the Fisher Building.

The statement went on to say:

"We are not affiliated with BAMN, its' leadership, or any former DFT leadership. We are teachers united as it is time that we stand up and defend our students, our profession, and our rights! Our cornerstone issues are Academics, Fairness & Equity. Our goal is to ensure that Detroit students are no longer pay for the deficit created by state control, and to protect their civil rights and ability to receive an exemplary education."

The group said it believes Detroit teachers "deserve to be treated the same way teachers are treated in Livonia, Novi, West Bloomfield, Grosse Pointe, Troy and all other districts throughout the state of Michigan."