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3 Detroit Public Schools Closed Due To Sickout; Teachers Blame 'Snyder Flu'

DETROIT (WWJ) - There were no classes Tuesday at three Detroit Public Schools.

District officials said Mackenzie Elementary-Middle School, Mason Elementary-Middle School, and West Side Academy had to be closed because too many teachers called in sick.

"While we can agree to disagree on matters of policy, those disagreements should never impact our students and the instructional time they are entitled to as it has today," said DPS Emergency Manager Darnell Early.

"This unfortunate turn of events, orchestrated by a very small minority of the good and dedicated employees of DPS, is seriously misguided and directly harms our students – taking away a day in the classroom that they cannot afford to miss."

Teachers have been unhappy about cutbacks in Health Insurance Coverage and other benefits in their contracts.

In a media release, teachers involved said they're fighting to save Detroit Public Schools, and "caught the Snyder Flu today."

"Sixty years ago today, Rosa Parks changed history by initiating one of the greatest civil rights protests against the old Jim Crow system, the Montgomery Bus Boycott," said Markeith Jones, a senior at the Detroit School for performing Arts and BAMN organizer. "Today, we as students, stand in solidarity with the teacher's brave actions taking a stand against the New Jim Crow and the racist destruction of public education. We salute teachers and look forward to collective action to build a movement to save our city."

"Teachers are sick of Snyder's Plan for DPS and sick of the national attacks on public education," said Nicole Conaway, a teacher at East English Village Prep Academy — one of the school on emergency status. "The only cure for the 'Snyder Flu' is building a strike to win."

A news conference was planned for later Tuesday.

A message on the Detroit Federation of Teachers Union website stated that the union had not sanctioned a sickout.

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