For the second day in a row, dozens and dozens of schools in the Detroit public school district (DPS) will be shut down.
Yesterday, 50 schools were shut down due to a so-called “sickout” organized by teachers who are protesting horrible conditions at various Detroit area K-12 public schools. Today, more than 60 schools have been listed as closed, according to various local news media outlets.
In a recent interview with WDIV Local 4 news, teachers at Detroit’s Vernon Elementary School said that a pack of wild mushrooms were growing out of a wall at the school. The stories about unhealthy interior conditions do not not stop there.
Teachers at Spain Elementary school reported substantiated claims of seeing black mold growing inside the school.”The sick-out is a response to some of the deplorable conditions that the students find themselves in,” said Tracy Russell, a former DPS attendee and current teacher in the district.
Mr. Russell is also a father of three children who are students in the Detroit public school system.
“It’s a turning point for Detroit — the stigma on urban education that has to end. To live in a district where you constantly hear, ‘this isn’t right, they’re performing poorly,’ and I know it’s not true,” he continued.
Michigan’s state government has been in charge of DPS for seven years. With state budget concerns mounting, many teachers and parents are worried about the state’s capacity to tackle all the district’s problems. The government seems more concerned about keeping costs down.
Eight different Michigan counties are a part of the Detroit area’s school system. Russell also said that many parents are understanding of the position being held by the teachers. They believe healthy learning conditions are in the best interest of all stakeholders.
Teachers are demanding that public hearings be held to address all the district’s problems. WDIV reported that Mayor Mike Duggan said on Monday evening that he’d be attending several schools across the district during this week.
“We can do better. The sick-out says ‘enough is enough,'” said Russell.
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