Detroit schools open despite sickout threat

Story highlights

  • All Detroit Public Schools were open Monday
  • Interim superintendent thanks teachers for their support and commitment
  • The teachers' union said it is planning some sort of "mass action" in April

(CNN)All Detroit Public Schools were open Monday despite threats of a sickout.

The so-called "sickouts" are a way for teachers to protest working conditions, dilapidated facilities and inadequate funding.
    "While some teachers did choose to call in sick today, that clearly was not the intention of the majority, as the rest of the district reported for work as normal," said DPS Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather.
    "We appreciate teacher support as we work to improve the educational outcomes for all DPS students."
    There had been reports that public school teachers would call out en-masse on Monday, forcing schools to close.
    Teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan.
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    A press release from Equal Opportunity Now/By Any Means Necessary, an activist group, said some schools would "take sick-out action."
    The Detroit Federation of Teachers, however, had said on its website that it was not calling for any action on Monday.
    "We are, however, looking ahead to a mass action in April as we continue our fight for strong, viable neighborhood public schools in Detroit," it said.
    Detroit Public Schools had said on its Facebook page that it was aware of the efforts, and encouraged those concerned to reach out to the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the recognized collective bargaining organization for teachers in the school district.
    Detroit's school system, which is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, is being sued by the union.
    Embattled Gov. Rick Snyder, who is also dealing with the fallout from the Flint water crisis, said in his State of the State address that the city's schools are in a crisis.
    The school system was previously under the supervision of an emergency manager appointed by Snyder, Darnell Earley.
    Earley, who was also Flint's emergency manager from 2013-2015, resigned last month.