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See the roaches, rats and crumbling ceilings that Detroit teachers are protesting

Detroit public school teachers are staging "sick-outs." Here is what you need to know about the school conditions that they say make it difficult to do their jobs. (Video: Claritza Jimenez/The Washington Post)

Detroit teachers staged a mass sickout Wednesday that closed all but a handful of the city’s roughly 100 schools. It was the latest and largest in a series of sickouts meant to protest the deplorable conditions under which teachers and students are working, organizers of the sickout said.

Schools are plagued by rats and roaches, teachers say. Mold crawls up walls, floors are missing tiles, and ceilings have gaping holes. But the physical conditions aren’t the only problem: Teachers also haven’t had a raise in a decade.

“Whatever it was they could take from us, they’ve done it,” said Vanessa Dawson, a teacher for 23 years, including 21 in Detroit. “We just couldn’t take it any more, so that’s what led to this.”

Most Detroit schools closed as teachers stage sickout

Here are some of the conditions that teachers are protesting.

1. Vermin

Roaches, rats and mice run rampant in schools, teachers say.

2. Crumbling ceilings.

3. Leaking ceilings.

4. Broken floors and missing floor tiles.

5. Gross and/or broken toilets and urinals.

6. Mushrooms growing out of walls.