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A Great National Sick-Out - It's Past Time


A Great National Sick-Out - It's Past Time

Laura Flanders

A picture’s worth a thousand words they say, and that was certainly the case earlier this year when public school teachers in Detroit started tweeting out pictures of the crumbling schools they work in.

After months of attempting to grab legislators’ attention, the teachers called in sick, en masse earlier this year, causing almost all city schools to close, and while they withdrew their labor, they flooded the social media with images of just what they were so sick of:


Well Laura, a long read just to get HRC’S name mentioned (Senator Sanders was saying that austerity programs were hurting schools, health care, infrastructure, etc., back when Bill Clinton was shoving NAFTA down our throats causing good paying American manufacturing jobs to poof, disappear with Detroit along with them) you could have used Bernie’s name. Why not? Last I heard, Hillary was standing by her man back then and acquiring that experience which has led to all Her judgement calls, mostly poor starting with her Iraq vote. Her love for austerity, learned from Bill, has poured over more recently into her love for TTP and TTIP. What’s a little moldy cheese in our old fridge’s?; er, on our walls? Why, austerity programs are for the wealthy, aren’t they? Why should the rich have to pay their fair share when there’s all those overseas tax havens to keep up. I hear p.o.boxes in Ireland and the Cayman Islands are getting pretty damn expensive these days! Vote the Hill, as she and Bill feel our pahyn!!


To the writer’s point that a national sick-out is long overdue, agreed. However, I don’t believe that the 99% are truly one block either, and as such, there is no way to organize this “union-ish” tactic. Even the 90% are not in similar demographics nor do they always vote in their own best interest. In fact, if such a sick-out was pre-organized it would send a message, but that message wouldn’t be as strong as if a sick-out was organized and ready, like a flash mob, and the trigger was pulled after a particularly egregious application of oligarchical power. Like “Citizens” United. Or the Patriot Act, although if memory serves a majority was for it when it came around the first time. They could have let it die, but the temptation to spy on us is too great to pass up, so like when it was re-approved. Or when Bush was “selected”.


Detroit is not the only city with crumbling toxic schools. Since the 90s the US has seen the deliberate disinvestment in Public Education to create “failing” schools. This doesn’t happen in wealthy suburbs but in cities with majorities of poor and Black and Brown students. This was done to hand over Public Schools to private charter school chains that become investments for hedge funds and Wall St. investors. Detroit is the canary in the coal mine with the theft of funds from the schools to pay off private banks and creditors we are seeing the future for Public Education in other cities. New Orleans was able to charterize their schools because of an environmental disaster, but Detroit is how it is being done systematically across the country. We see it in Chicago, Los Angles and smaller cities that never make,the news. It is almost at the point where it is too late to turn around the destruction of Public Education in American Cities. This was a system America should have been proud of and fought for. It is a system that has educated millions of immigrants who became productive citizens. Private charter schools seek to create robotic workers who will not question the system of low wages, and drone like working conditions, and allow for the end of any vestige of democracy left in the US.