Districts close schools, teachers in Lansing protesting of right-to-work legislation

(WXYZ) - Three local school districts are canceling classes for all students Tuesday.

The Taylor School District, Warren Consolidated Schools, and Fitzgerald Public Schools made the decision after determining that many teachers would be absent.

School officials in the Warren Consolidated district say 4-500 of their 826 teachers called to say they would not be in and the Superintendent decided he could not hold school safely so he canceled

In Taylor, district Superintendent Diane Allen said that more than 200 of the district's 500 teachers reported that they would be using personal days tomorrow.

The president of the district's teachers union confirms that many teachers will be protesting Tuesday's vote on whether or not to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

Eric Walivaara, a teacher in the Warren Consolidated District says while he thinks the right-to-work legislation will pass, the governor and Republican lawmakers need to hear the voices of those opposed. He said this actually makes him sad because of those who decades ago fought for the rights of organized labor and now those rights, he believes, are being eroded.

There is another side to the story, though, and there are union members who support the right-to-work bills.  Terry Bowman is a UAW worker at the Ford Rawsonville Plant and says he believes this is right for Michigan and he believes this will make union officials work harder and be more accountable.

Several other union members who support right-to-work legislation told us they were afraid to go on camera, afraid of being criticized or harassed by their co-workers. Terry Bowman says that is very common, he says he has received threats because of his support for right-to-work. 

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