Detroit Federation of Teachers on the Violent Social Media Threat at Cass Tech

DETROIT—Statement by Detroit Federation of Teachers Interim President Ivy Bailey on
the social media threat made against the teachers and principal of Cass Technical
High School. The writer threatened to take action on Friday. At the request of the
Detroit Federation of Teachers, an emergency meeting was held this afternoon with
Detroit Public Schools officials, Cass Tech employees and school leadership,
parents, and law enforcement authorities to discuss the grave and violent threat
made against Cass Tech teachers and the principal:

“The DFT has an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our members, our
students, their families and the Detroit community, and today’s actions reflect that
commitment. During a meeting with DFT members, parents and the community, newly
named DPS Transition Manager Steven Rhodes announced that Cass Technical High School
would be closed on Friday because of the safety concerns expressed by Cass teachers,
staff, students and families. We believe this is an appropriate and necessary
response to the situation; safety is being put first, as it should be. We are
pleased the DFT was able to amplify the voices of our members, students and their
families who felt ignored and unheard.

“Rhodes has agreed to work with the union, educators and parents on immediately
developing a review team to examine how school safety issues are handled, how DPS
and schools should communicate about safety concerns, and what protocols for
transparency should be in place. We hope that convening this working group will
bring us one step closer to creating a more open, transparent and honest dialogue
around the safety of our schools.

“While the threat against Cass Tech is highly unfortunate, it did show that when the
union and school management work together, we can serve the best interests of our
students, our educators and our community.”