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94 out of 97 Public Schools In Detroit Closed Monday

The massive shut down took place after instructors learned they wouldn't be paid past June 30.

Nearly 46,000 students in Detroit didn't go to school Monday due to what is being reported as a "sick out." Ninety-four out of 97 schools were closed when instructors learned they would not receive salaries past June 30, resulting in nearly 2,600 teachers not showing up for work May 2.

Over the weekend, teachers learned they wouldn't be paid, and according to Ivy Bailey, the interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, instructors planned rallied at the district’s central administration building.

“There’s a basic agreement in America: When you put in a day’s work, you’ll receive a day’s pay. DPS (Detroit Public Schools) is breaking that deal,” Bailey said. “Teachers want to be in the classroom giving children a chance to learn and reach their potential. Unfortunately, by refusing to guarantee that we will be paid for our work, DPS is effectively locking our members out of the classrooms.”

According to CNN, teachers and some parents are urging Michigan lawmakers to pass a $715 million education reform package that would fund salaries for July and going forward. The interim salary for Detroit public school teachers is $63,000

Steven Rhodes, a retired bankruptcy judge appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder said the sick outs aren't necessary, but understand the plight of Detroit's teachers.

"It is unfortunate that the (teachers union) has chosen to make a statement in this way," Rhodes said in a statement. "I am on record as saying that I cannot in good conscience ask anyone to work without pay."

Detroit's public schools have been in crisis for months. The district has about 515 million in operating debt and is spending about $1,100 per student on debt service annually.

Yet despite empathizing with teachers, Rhodes called the sickout "drastic."

“Wages that are owed to teachers should be paid,” Rhodes said. “I understand the frustration and anger that our teachers feel. I am, however, confident that the Legislature will support the request that will guarantee that teachers will receive the pay that is owed to them. The (union’s) choice for a drastic call to action was not necessary.”

This isn't the first time teachers in Detroit have performed a sickout. At the top of the years, as a response to dangerous and unsanitary conditions, Detroit public school teachers called out en masse. The unbearable conditions included rat and roach infestation, black mold and pieces of the ceiling falling.

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Kentucky AG Criticized For Celebrating Engagement While Breonna Taylor Case Stalls

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron continues to garner criticism over the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s death. The most recent round of backlash came after photos of Cameron’s engagement party surfaced online over the weekend.

Cameron, a Louisville native, was slammed for celebrating his engagement while the cops who killed Taylor remain free. Beyonce’s mother, Tina Lawson, joined the chorus of criticism.

“I was shocked to learn that the attorney general for Kentucky is a 34 year old black man. A republican. When Breonna’s Mother Tamika asked to speak with him, he had someone else call her,” Lawson wrote in part on Monday (June 28).

According to TMZ, Taylor’s family agreed with Lawson’s  reaction.

 

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I was shocked to learn that the attorney general for Kentucky is a 34 year old black man. A republican . When Breonna’s Mother Tamika asked to speak with him , he had someone else call her. ! 💔💔 When he ran for office there are a lot of Black people that were excited and thought oh my God maybe we have a fair chance now because it will be a black man in this position ! He will be fair and unbiased towards Black people. They voted for him. Well That’s why it’s important to educate yourself on people who are running for office . I have no problem with who he marries , that is his personal business. That is not what this post is about ! I just don’t understand his actions !!! And where are their masks ?

A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on Jun 29, 2020 at 7:39pm PDT

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot and killed inside her apartment in March. Protests continued in Kentucky this past weekend, amid continued demands for justice in the case.

Last month, Beyonce penned an open letter urging Cameron to arrest Louisville Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove and former LMPD officer Brett Hankison.

On Monday, several LMPD officers walked out of a meeting with LMPD Interim Chief Robert Schroeder after he refused to discuss whether or not he agreed with the mayor’s assertion that the tree officers should be fired for killing Taylor.

Meanwhile, Cameron has asked the public for patience. “My heart is heavy concerning the fear and unrest in our city following the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor,” reads a statement posted on his Instagram account on May 29. “It weighs on me, as I know it does for many of my fellow Kentuckians who are grappling with the tragic events here and in other cities across the country.”

The post goes on to state that Cameron’s office isn’t handling the full LMPD probe, and that the investigation will take time in order to be “done correctly.” The office is awaiting the conclusion of the LMPD report, Cameron said.

The FBI opened an independent investigation into the shooting in May. “At the conclusion of this investigation, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division will determine if the officers’ actions violated federal law,” the statement continues. “Our office will determine if any state laws were violated. We will continue to work with our federal colleagues in our effort to find the truth.”

Cameron’s Instagram post has received more than 18,000 comments, many of which are lambasting him for the engagement photos and the slow pace of the investigation. “Shame on you,” read one comment while another added, “Stop protecting these officers.”

Read the full post below.

 

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Statement from Attorney General Cameron regarding the investigation into the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor:

A post shared by Daniel Cameron (@danieljaycameron) on May 29, 2020 at 12:24pm PDT

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NASA Names Washington D.C. Headquarters After Trailblazing Engineer Mary W. Jackson

NASA is naming its building headquarters in Washington D.C. after trailblazer Mary W. Jackson, the agency announced on Wednesday (June 24). Jackson was the first Black female engineer at NASA.

“We are honored that NASA continues to celebrate the legacy of our mother and grandmother Mary W. Jackson,” said Jackson’s daughter, Carolyn Lewis. “She was a scientist, humanitarian, wife, mother, and trailblazer who paved the way for thousands of others to succeed, not only at NASA, but throughout this nation.”

Jackson’s remarkable story was chronicled in the film, Hidden Figures, alongside Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Christine Darden.

“Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “Today, we proudly announce the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building. It appropriately sits on ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ a reminder that Mary is one of many incredible and talented professionals in NASA’s history who contributed to this agency’s success. Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have made NASA’s successful history of exploration possible.”

Multiple NASA facilities around the country are named after, “people who dedicated their lives to push the frontiers of the aerospace industry,” noted Bridenstine.

Jackson was born and raised in Hampton, Va., in 1921. She went on to earn a degree in math and physical science from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in 1942. She worked as a math teacher, bookkeeper, and U.S Army secretary prior to being recruited by NASA in the early 1950s.

Jackson initially worked under Vaughn as a NASA mathematician in a segregated computing unit. After two years in the West Area Computing Unit, Jackson moved to a 4-foot-by-4-foot Supersonic Pressure Tunnel where her supervisor suggested she join a training program to become a NASA engineer.

Jackson completed the course at the segregated Hampton High School and had to receive special permission to study with her white colleagues. In 1958, Jackson earned a promotion, and simultaneously made history as the first Black woman to become a NASA engineer. In 1979, she joined Langley’s Federal Women’s Program, where she worked to address the hiring and promotion of a new generation of female mathematicians, engineers and scientists. Jackson retired from Langley in 1985.

She passed away in 2005.

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All 3 Men Involved In Ahmaud Abery’s Death Indicted On Murder Charges

A Georgia grand jury indicted Travis and Greg McMichael, and William R. Bryan for the murder of Ahmaud Arbery.

“This is another positive step, another great step for finding justice for Ahmaud, for finding justice for this family and the community beyond,” Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes said at a press conference on Wednesday (June 24).

Bryan and the McMichael are each charged with malice murder, as well as four counts of felony murder, two counts of aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and criminal attempt to commit a felony.

BREAKING: a grand jury has indicted Greg + Travis McMichael and William Bryan on murder charges in #AhmaudArbery’s death.

Read the indictment here: pic.twitter.com/ASSMQ2iCh2

— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) June 24, 2020

Arbery, 25, was killed in February while out for a jog in his Georgia neighborhood. His story didn't gain national attention until nearly two months later, when Bryan's cell phone footage of the murder was leaked by an attorney who consulted with the three men. The video shows Arbery being cornered by the McMichaels and shot to death as Bryan filmed the violent incident. The McMichaels, who are father and son, claim that they mistook Arbery for a supposed robbery suspect and were attempting a citizen’s arrest that turned fatal.

Arbery’s murder strengthened calls for Georgia introduce legislation against hate crimes. On Tuesday (June 23), the state legislature finally approved a hate crime bill which will impose harsher “sentencing of defendants for crimes involving bias or prejudice.”

Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, reacted to the legislation in an interview Atlanta’s 11Alive. “I’m happy that Ahmaud’s name will be part of such big change, but at the same time, I have to snap back into reality that Ahmaud is gone, but his name will live forever.”

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