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Judge dismisses DPS lawsuit against teachers' union

Feb 25, 2016

Credit Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

A state judge has dismissed the Detroit Federation of Teachers and its president from a lawsuit brought by the Detroit Public Schools.

The lawsuit is over the numerous “sickout” protests DPS teachers staged early this year to highlight deteriorating conditions in the schools.

The district sued, calling them illegal wildcat strikes.

But on Thursday, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the charges against the DFT and union president Ivy Bailey from the suit.

The union didn’t organize the sickouts, but did issue statements of support for the teachers.

Stephens also again declined to issue a preliminary injunction that would, in theory, bar future sickouts.

In a statement, DFT Administrator Ann Mitchell said the union is “grateful” for the court’s ruling, and “will continue to speak up and out, and … support our members who have the courage to do the same for our students.”

A district statement said that “DPS is disappointed in the judge’s decision to dismiss the DFT.”

Two individual teachers, including dismissed former DFT president Steve Conn, remain as defendants in the suit.