Watch live: Authorities detail latest developments in Oxford High shooting

Teacher sickout affects DPS students at Bates Academy

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Detroit — Another teacher sickout had some Detroit school students missing classes again Friday.

“Bates Academy is closed ... due to teacher absences,” Detroit Public Schools officials said on the school system’s website.

Bates Academy is a K-8 school on Wyoming between Eight Mile and Outer Drive on the city’s west side. It has 843 students, according to Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski. She said no other schools had reported mass teacher absences.

The sickout comes a day after nearly 4,000 students at seven Detroit schools, including Bates, missed classes after teachers staged a sickout, according to district officials. Other schools closed Thursday were Gompers Elementary Middle School, Paul Robeson Malcom X Academy, Ann Arbor Trail Magnet K-8, Cody Medicine and Community Health, Detroit Collegiate Preparatory at Northwestern and Bagley Elementary School.

“Every time we are forced to close a school because of the selfish and irresponsible actions of (Detroit teacher and Detroit Federation of Teachers activist) Ms. (Nicole) Conaway and her followers, it results in a day of lost instruction for our students as well as money wasted in a district that is so desperately in need of financial assistance to regain solvency,” Zdrodowski said in a statement.

“Using the children as pawns in a game orchestrated to further their group’s political agenda certainly does not make a compelling argument for the investment that the District so desperately needs the state to make in its future.

“The community, especially the parents who are highly inconvenienced by these inexcusable actions, as well as the entire state should be outraged and demand accountability from those responsible.”

Conaway, a teacher at East English Village Preparatory Academy, defended the teachers’ action.

“Teachers are saying enough is enough,” she said. “We want all the things their students deserve, and it won’t be business as usual until we get that.”

She said the teachers at the Bates Academy are “the most determined to stand up for students and demand they get what they deserve.”

Friday’s sickout was the third for the district this month as teachers express their anger over pay and benefit concessions and disapproval of Gov. Rick Snyder’s school reform plans. The governor has proposed paying off hundreds of millions of DPS debt, which would be left with the existing school district, and creating a new district to educate Detroit schoolchildren.