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Judge Dismisses Case Against Striking Teachers Group

DETROIT (WWJ) - A judge has dismissed the case against ousted activist Detroit teacher Steve Conn and the Strike To Win Group.

Detroit Schools had filed an injunction against the teachers, trying to force them back to work after a series of sickouts. President David Hecker of the American Federation of Teachers of Michigan says the teachers are courageous.

"I think these actions may continue until the state, the district steps up to the plate and addresses the problems that exist in Detroit public schools and problems that exist - when 14 of the last 17 years the state has run the schools," said Hecker.

Judge Cynthia Stevens ruled on the injunction Monday.

DPS teachers protest (VThomas)
President David Hecker of the American Federation of Teachers of Michigan. (WWJ/Vickie Thomas)

"The issue is why? What is happening to lead teachers to take this position and that has to be addressed and we know what the why is -- the why is the under-funding of education ... class sizes through the roof ... massive pay cuts ... horrible continues in too many schools," he said.

While the hearing was taking place, about 60 Detroit teachers and supporters protested outside of the court among them School Board Member Lemar Lemons:

"We want to clarify in the media that it's not Detroit Public School district that is taking it -- it's Governor Snyder's control of Detroit Public School district ... through his emergency manager. The same toxic tandem of Snyder and Darnell Earley are now imposing similar teach conditions on our teachers and our students."

Steve Conn, a teacher and activist, said the governor and the school district's emergency manager should be put on trial, not teachers.

Teachers are upset over pay, class sizes, building conditions and Gov. Rick Snyder's plan to overhaul the district.

The teachers have been calling out sick, protesting pay, class sizes and building conditions.

The district says two schools are closed today because of the high volume of teacher absences.

The city of Detroit plans to inspect every DPS building for problems.

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