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Judge rules against Detroit schools in teacher sick-out suit

A judge has ruled against Detroit's school district in a lawsuit targeting teachers accused of encouraging sick-outs that closed dozens of schools earlier this year.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens wrote in this week's ruling that the district interpreted state law in a way that's "offensive to fundamental rights of free speech."

Nicole Conaway and Steve Conn said they were protected by the First Amendment.

The sick-outs sought to call attention to poor building conditions, finances and other issues in the state-run district.

In a statement, Conn says more protests are planned this fall over state control of the district. Attorneys for the district said the sick-outs were really illegal strikes and sought an injunction.

The Associated Press sent an email Friday seeking comment from a district spokeswoman.

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