Large group of Detroit teachers protest outside Cobo Center

While some Detroit teachers were protesting in support of Conn, others were preparing to protest District conditions outside Cobo Center, where President Barack Obama planned to tour the North American International Auto Show Wednesday afternoon.

The largest such action occurred Wednesday when at least 88 Detroit schools were forced to turn students away due to a lack of teachers.

Many teachers say the plan threatens to undermine the public school system and disenfranchises city residents. "The Detroit schools are in need of a transformational change".

Teachers have complained of crumbling infrastructure, mold in the classrooms, leaky ceilings and too many students per class.

"DPS [Detroit Public Schools] has requested the court's intervention in addressing the ongoing teacher sickouts that are plaguing the district", Michelle Zdrodowski, the spokeswoman for the school system said in a statement. The latest sick-out shuttered more than 85 of the struggling district's roughly 100 schools and was timed to coincide with a visit to the city by the Obama. Schools are now run by a state appointed emergency manager.

"Calling it unethical, knowing what he's done in Flint and the condition of our schools, it was the straw that broke everything", said Vanessa Dawson, a sixth-grade English teacher at Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy.

DPS Teachers Fight Back, a grassroots group started by three teachers, was the main organizer behind today's sickout, though teachers at individual buildings voted on whether they wanted to join.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called for teachers to stop staging sick-outs and return to their classrooms while legislatures work on solving the city's debt problems.

Almost as many Detroit police as there were protesters converged outside the Hilton Garden Inn downtown Wednesday after a disturbance.

Bonner said she sometimes has to open windows in the school even in winter because the heat is out of control.

"If they are getting pay cuts, and don't have what they need in the classrooms, the only way for them to be heard is to take a stand", said Tanisha Murray, whose daughter attends a closed foreign language immersion and cultural studies school.

"As the city celebrates this "ultra-luxury" automobile event, Detroit's public schools are in a state of crisis", wrote the union on its website. He has pushed state lawmakers to pass bills to overhaul the school district by splitting it in two, spending more than $700 million over a decade, and warned of a potential bankruptcy. Over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend the hashtag #SupportDPSTeachers trended on Twitter in the United States as educators in the Motor City posted dozens of shocking images of building code and safety violations at schools. The list of named defendants include the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, ousted Detroit Federation of Teachers president Steve Conn, interim president Ivy Bailey, and several teachers.

"This movement has grown, and I think it has grown among the teachers themselves", Mitchell said.

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