It turns out that after last Wednesday's sick-out, most of the teachers who abandoned the classroom to protest at the state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin didn't call in sick at all. They just didn't come to work.
Madison Metropolitan School District spokesman Ken Syke says that after the first day of teacher absences, the majority of teachers who stayed out of the classroom did not inform the schools they weren't coming in. "The first day, we had hundreds of our staff call in sick," Syke says. "The second, third, and fourth days we didn't have that many call in sick. They just didn't show up."
Syke says teachers have come to work in normal numbers today.
But what about those teachers who did call in sick and have presented doctor's notes to explain their absence -- notes that might have been received from doctors who appeared at the protests and gave out notes to anyone who asked? "We're obviously very aware of that," Syke says. "We've been collecting the names of physicians who have been reported to us to have been doing that. So depending on who signed the form, we'll be making a determination from there." Those teachers who were absent without sufficient explanation will have their pay docked, but Syke did not say whether they would be subject to any further discipline.