Thursday, January 21, 2016

School Sickout and FLINT Water Protests: Outcome of Obama Supported Disaster Capitalism

Unions Fiddle While DETROIT Burns. We weren't hearing much about the Detroit school crisis from the AFT and its affiliate the DFT until teachers began to take wildcat sickout actions.

Yesterday, with Obama visiting the Detroit auto show to praise the Detroit comeback (huh?), we saw this headline:

Nearly all of Detroit's schools closed due to sickouts coinciding with Obama visit

The role the Randi backed Detroit Federation of Teachers has not been a prominent one even though CNN reports "An attorney for the Detroit Public Schools has asked a judge to issue a restraining order and preliminary injunction to force teachers to stop sickouts and return to work, according to court documents filed Wednesday. The motion names the Detroit Federation of Teachers, interim teachers union president Ivy Bailey and 23 Detroit Public Schools teachers."

Who else can they try to blame? The cannot conceive of the idea that teachers might reach the point where the brakes the union tries to apply just won't work. This is a point I tried to make in some of my previous posts regarding Friedrichs weakening the unions to the point where they cannot manage the membership as overseers. [ see extra credit below].

Then there is the Flint water crisis, which ties together with the Detroit school crisis:
As Governor Snyder was hiding behind Michigan's executive privilege laws and withholding information about the water crisis from the public, Detroit teachers were taking bold action that called attention to the deplorable learning conditions within the state's largest school district. More than sixty Detroit schools have been shut down this winter due to teacher sick-outs.

-----MLK's legacy lives as Detroit and Flint battle injustices, column

Of course we have this:
Republican leader of the Michigan House calls for teachers to be fired

Detroit school system wants judge to end teacher sickouts

"DPS has requested the court's intervention in addressing the ongoing teacher sickouts that are plaguing the district," Michelle Zdrodowski, the spokeswoman for the Detroit Public Schools said in a statement.
The teachers union responded to the filing, noting "Detroit deserves better."
"It is regrettable that the Detroit Public Schools seeks to punish those who speak out about the deplorable conditions in our schools," Bailey said. "It would be so much more productive to actually do something to fix Detroit schools rather than file restraining orders against those who expose the miserable conditions."
Nearly all Detroit's public schools were closed Wednesday as many protesting teachers called in sick, turning what was supposed to be a day to celebrate into one shining a harsh spotlight on one of Michigan's struggling cities.
President Barack Obama was in Detroit for the North American International Auto Show. He praised the American automotive industry's resurgence, which many people view as a major victory for Detroit.
But those inside the city tell a sharply different story, one illustrated in leaflets showing pictures of dead rats found at public schools, mildew taking over ceilings and walls and damage to school buildings.
Detroit teachers have pressed their case against what they call deplorable conditions and inadequate funding. They've also decried decisions made by the school system's emergency manager, who was appointed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder -- criticism that echoes complaints in Flint, a Michigan city mired in a water crisis after state officials largely took over because of budget troubles, just as they did in Detroit.
Detroit teachers have backed up their words with mass sickouts, starting January 11, when 62 schools closed as a result.
Bailey estimated the doors of "over 30 schools" ultimately would be affected.
Zdrodowski said there would be no class Wednesday in 88 schools, about 90% of those in the system. 

But as of Wednesday night, the Detroit Public Schools' Facebook page indicated all schools will be open Thursday. The announcement included a request for students and parents to check the page again for updates.
The speaker of the House in Michigan called for absentee teachers to be dismissed.
"These teachers deserve to be fired for turning their backs on the children in their care," said Kevin Cotter, a Republican from Mount Pleasant. "Their actions also go against any possible resolution on potential (Detroit Public Schools) reforms, because any long-term agreement on Detroit schools has to put the kids first."
Cotter said more than 700,000 instructional hours have been lost.

Obama meets with Detroit's mayor

The timing -- on the day of Obama's visit to the Detroit auto show, with the national media attention that it brought -- was no coincidence.
The Detroit Federation of Teachers indicated as much on its website, saying now is the time to "fight for Detroit kids (who) are struggling in schools with hazardous environmental and safety issues (and) educators have made significant sacrifices for the good of students."

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