School's Out

POSTED: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 10:16am

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:25pm

Teacher layoffs force Detroit school to turn away students...

Nearly 60 children went to Detroit's McFarlane Elementary school Monday morning only to be sent home because there were not enough teachers.

The principal of McFarlane Elementary called off classes for third- and fourth-grade students because three teachers were laid off.

Officials say Principal Carolyn Freeman, who is out of town, told a guidance counselor to contact Detroit school district officials regarding the lack of staffing.

When all efforts to make contact failed, the principal canceled classes through the counselor instead of spreading children out to different classes.

The decision angered parents and district officials, including Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb.

"A decision was made to send children home. That is never ever an acceptable operation to make," Bobb said. "If I hear that a principal or anyone is sending children home but for an extreme emergency, then I can tell you heads will roll in this district there's no doubt about it."

"I'm sure there's going to be explaining to do, I won't be surprised to find her in a degree of hot water," said Keith Johnson with the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

McFarlane Elementary School said all students will return to class Wednesday.

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