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Teacher 'sick out' for right-to-work protest closes some Michigan schools

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By Doug Powers  •  December 11, 2012 10:49 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

A scheduled demonstration is now underway near the Michigan Capitol today to protest “right to work” legislation.

Hundreds of teachers have called in sick to attend the protest, leaving thousands of students with no school:

At least 26,000 children will miss school today because their teachers called in sick or took a vacation day to protest proposed right-to-work legislation, which is expected to pass today.

Warren Consolidated Schools, Taylor School District and Fitzgerald Public Schools are confirmed to be closed. It is also suggested that schools in Detroit and St. Johns may be missing a significant number of teachers.

“We’ve had an excessive number of teachers call in,” Warren district spokesperson Robert Freehan said Monday afternoon. “We’re concerned about the safety and security of the students, so we’re treating it as a snow day.”
[...]
The Warren district is the 9th-largest school district in Michigan. More than 15,000 students attend Warren Consolidated Schools. Parents will now have to scramble to find alternative care for their children because of the excessive teacher absences.

There could be more:

The Detroit Federation of Teachers was not planning to take busloads of teachers to Lansing but was encouraging teachers to go.

Asked whether high teacher absenteeism would close schools in Detroit, DFT President Keith Johnson said, “Hopefully.”

Maybe he figures that the Detroit schools are performing so well that the kids can afford a day away from the classroom.

The Michigan Education Association claims the Right to Work legislation will be a detriment to the education of students in the state, and apparently they think there’s no better way to prove it than by making kids miss a day of school.

At least this has made some union heads concerned about freeloaders:

“Whether proponents call this ‘right-to-work’ or ‘freedom-to-work,’ it’s really just ‘freedom to freeload,’” said Steve Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association.

More on the “free rider” assertion here. More on the “free stuff” thing here.

But just because some schools won’t have class today doesn’t mean there won’t be a lesson:

As an email directed to retired Michigan Education Association members said: “Take a lesson from Wisconsin, brothers and sisters, protests alone won’t do it. Cause mayhem!”

For the children!

Protesters are inside the Capitol as well:

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More at Twitchy.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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