Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley’s ‘Sick Of Sick-Outs’ 101

Sick of sick-outs?

Take it from Detroit Public Schools (DHS) Emergency Manager Darnell Earley and get yourself a snitch sheet so those you lord over can report their co-workers to you. That’s what Earley’s begun implementing at DHS in order to quash the sick-outs teachers have been waging on the regular in order to draw attention to the deplorable state of the district’s schools under Gov. Rick Snyder’s emergency management systems.

In a largely uncirculated memo, remind the peons beneath you that strikes and protests are against the rules, then subtly slip the new rules mandating you turn on your peers in there, just like Earley did Jan. 14 of this year.

Put it out on the sly so no one notices it until stumbling on it nearly two weeks later, as Earley did a short two days after an enormous sick-out that closed over half the district’s schools.

Make it so no one can say squat about the rats and mice nibbling kids’ feet, the toilet water, snow and rain dripping on kids’ heads and all over the electronics. Instead, make it so they don’t even look your direction.

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” America!

Make it so teachers instead are required to cast doubt, and point blame and fingers at each other.

Make it so failing to report one’s co-worker can result in one’s own discipline or termination.

Make it dog eat dog and blame the failure of the schools on that resulting environment. Teachers can’t get along. Administration is screwing everything up. That way you’re the savior, even as the schools rot.

By the way, it doesn’t hurt to take another page from Earley’s book while you’re at it and try getting a judge to issue restraining orders against any rebel-rousers. Forget for a moment that that judge shot those hopes right on down. Maybe your luck will be better!

Pay no bother to the fact that the judge also denied Earley’s requested injunction ordering teachers back to work. Maybe you can pay one off to your favor, right? You never know.

And should you ever be put on the spot at a public meeting before your serfs and servants, just get up and walk on out of there without saying so much as a word. You don’t have to put up with that. The governor’s got your back, right? You’re in! You’re one of the highest paid public school executives in the country, aren’t you? Sure you are.

Forget that some of your flock, such as pre-K teacher at Palmer Park Preparatory Ann Turner has said things like, “He’s asking us to trust him and doesn’t even have the courtesy to stick around and try to answer questions.” They’re nothing to you. They’re bugs on the economic windshield and Gov. Snyder is supplying all the wiper fluid you need.

Don’t even sweat that the likes of Turner keep right on protesting in the face of your lordly decrees, saying things like, “Obviously we have to take drastic measures to have our voices heard, and not just our voices but the children’s voices.” Synder’s dictatorial emergency management law and Freedom of Information Act immunity are the ultimate political antiperspirant.

And just to make sure they don’t see you sweat, don’t tell your staff anything about any of it, either–or just tell them to play dumb.


So when those good-for-nothing, ungrateful pawns in your economic chess board say things like, “[Walking out without answering questions] leads us to believe that the goal is not in fact about saving DPS, the same way Flint was not actually about saving money,” as Turner has also said, you can just slip back behind that curtain, possibly be re-appointed to another position in order to be somewhat removed and shielded from any litigation, and keep on truckin’, because the last thing you want is for them to start questioning you about the #FlintWaterCrisis, too. How would you issue a memo against that?

So send a clear message if you’re sick of sick-outs, as Earley has done to the teachers and students of Detroit Public Schools with his backdoor memo: Signed, sealed, delivered–up yours, Detroit! That’s how you run a school, right? That’s Snyder democracy in action—Pure Michigan.

Like Flint’s water crisis, another fabulous result of Rick Snyder’s emergency management system, this is as dirty as it gets.

Featured image via WXYZ video screen capture.