Union suspends activist member

DETROIT — A well-known activist in the Detroit Federation of Teachers has been suspended by the union for seven months due to allegations that he physically intervened in the swearing-in ceremony of new union officers in January, The Detroit News reported.

Steve Conn, a Detroit Public Schools teacher for 25 years, recently lost a close race for the union presidency to Keith Johnson, who was re-elected by 40 votes, The News reported. Conn alleged there were irregularities in the vote tally, according to The News.

Conn was accused of “physically imposing” himself on the union’s executive board members during the ceremony, and a YouTube video shows him shouting and knocking papers from officers’ hands as they took an oath of office, The News reported.

The union’s executive board has suspended Conn from the union until Oct. 1, according to The News. He will retain his teaching position but cannot attend membership meetings or hold office in the union, the report said. Conn told The News he would appeal.

The Detroit News, “Detroit teachers’ union suspends activist for 7 months,” March 3, 2011

Michigan Education Digest, “DFT recall organizers rally,” Jan. 8, 2010