Detroit Public School (DPS) students at Cass Technical High School walked out of school on Monday to protest their deplorable school conditions, The Detroit News reported.
The walk-out was also a sign of support for their teachers who participated in a mass “sick-out” that shut down nearly every school in the city last week.
Teachers launched the sick-out to call attention to the unsafe school conditions they say are widespread across the district. The mass closure coincided with President Barack Obama’s visit to celebrate the city’s auto industry and its resurgence.
“This is about Detroit public schools,” Jonea Maxey, 17, a senior at Cass Tech, told The Detroit News. “We are speaking for students who cannot speak for themselves like the elementary and middle school students. We are all their voices. We are one.”
The student walk-out also comes on the heels of news that a judge denied a DPS request to issue a restraining order against teacher sick-outs, according to ABC.
The judge ruled that DPS had not provided enough evidence that the Detroit teachers’ union encouraged or facilitated the sick-outs.
Since the beginning of January, teachers and teacher organisations have been posting photos on social media sites about the appalling conditions they say exist in many Detroit schools.
The images depict various hazardous situations — from broken and rotting flooring to evidence of mice and moldy food that looks unsafe for consumption.
— Mark Naison (@McFiredogg) January 18, 2016
This image appears to depict rat droppings in a school hallway.
And this image purports to show a bullet hole in a school’s wall that has gone unrepaired.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan took a tour of Detroit schools in mid-January and reported seeing some similar hazards on his visits.
Duggan said he saw a dead mouse, freezing classrooms where students were wearing coats, and severely damaged rooms, according to the Associated Press. Duggan’s school tour was precipitated by an earlier teacher sick-out that closed 64 schools.
Teachers are looking for city and state government officials to step in and take action to improve school conditions.
We reached out to a representative for Detroit schools and will update this post if we hear back.
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