DETROIT (WWJ) – More than 100 students at Cass Technical High School walked out of class, Monday, in a show of support for teachers who have staged sickouts.
Teachers are trying to draw attention to what they say are unacceptable problems in Detroit Public Schools buildings — everything from over-large class sizes, to mold, to dead mice.
Cass Tech students marched around the block, chanting: “Fix DPS! We deserve the best!”
“I just want better from school,” Senior Blair Baker told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeill. “All the schools in DPS, we deserve better. We deserve more than what they’re giving us. They’re giving us the bare minimum, and I’m tired of it.”
“It’s not even the bare minimum,” Senior Naji Miller said. “We need more resources! We need books; we need to be able to read! We need to be able to get to college. We need to be able to do the things we’re in school to do! It’s just that simple.
While Cass Tech is known as one of the district’s better schools, even there, said Senior Aiyana King, they’re dealing with out-of-date books and too many students per teacher.
“We deserve a better education. Like, we come out here every day, and for what?” King said. “We put our best efforts in and we don’t even have classes where we can be taught properly.”
“We deserve better than that, and the teachers do as well,” she said.
There were some parents on hand, including Ann Long who said she’s not concerned about her daughter missing class for the march.
“No, because her grades are very good and…she’s one of those go-getters,” Long said.
What improvements would Long like to see in Detroit schools?
“More staffing, more staffing,” she said. “The classrooms are overcrowded, and they need more teachers to limit the size on the classrooms.”
The students’ protest came the same day a Michigan Court of Appeals judge denied a request by DPS for a temporary restraining order banning any future teacher sickouts.
Sickouts over the past several weeks have closed dozens of schools and kept thousands of students out of the classrooms. The district argues that the teacher sickouts have resulted in serious disruptions to the education process.