As a KSD student, I have been absolutely pissed at the fact that Kent teachers remain on strike despite the judge’s order for them to get back to class today. Before August 26th, the School District had offered them a handful of proposals, all were rejected by the Kent Teachers’ Association, so the teachers went on strike.
The reason the teachers went on strike in the first place was because issues such as classroom head count was unregulated and time spent with students was very small. In terms of these two parameters, Kent School District is not up to par, and the teachers wanted the School District to be. Thus, the teachers were really striking for the benefit of students, since less classmates equals more productivity and more time with the teacher means more learning.
August 31st, the first “day” of school, came around, and still no agreement between the teachers and the District. Finally, our superintendent, Edward Lee Vargas filed a complaint to Judge Andrea Darvas. On Thursday, she ruled that the strike was illegal, ordered the teachers to return to classrooms on Tuesday, and students to go back on Wednesday. But yesterday (Monday), teachers voted 71% to defy the judge’s order. I was absolutely ticked off.
Some parents and students actually supported the striking teachers. I stand fast in opposing this strike though. First of all, school has been delayed because of this stalemate between the two sides. Secondly, the School District has already offered the teachers a multitude of proposals that the teachers might as well accept, but no. The teachers are so stubborn, even in this recession, that they will by no means compromise. Horrible attitude, teachers. Such proposals they got were assistance for large class sizes and more pay. An alternative is better than nothing, so why not just accept and end this stagnant strike? Lastly, Judge Darvas already ordered the teachers back to class, and defying a judge’s order can result in jail time or fines. I would not risk this to continue on strike, and I don’t get why the hell the teachers are.
I’m absolutely pissed. This strike has made life boring, and there’s no end in sight. Some of my classmates say school will likely start in October, and Darren asked me what I would say if this case was taken to the Supreme Court? First of all, I’d laugh, and secondly, I’d already be attending a different school.
One thought on “Kent teachers STILL on strike and I’m pissed”
I’m writing here as a KSD student, and I readily support the teachers strike. Actually, 74% of teachers voted for the strike to continue, and okay, fines are no big deal, but they are seeking amnesty from the judge, it can go on their records, but the fines would be rather costly, and they’re not going to seriously put thousands of teachers in jail. Now to the real crux of this matter. They really should strike, teachers work on 5-10 year contracts, depending on how long they’re willing to stay and they were forced into their previous one. Now happens to be the only opening for teachers to ask for a much better contract, it’s not like they’ve been plotting to do a strike when the recession it, it was just very untimely, and if they didn’t do it now, they’d have to put up with another 5-10 years of a ridiculous contract. We don’t give teachers the respect they deserve. How can you deny them a better contract, with better pay and smaller class sizes, when it could do nothing but benefit you? On the small matter of a small pay raise, is it really that much to ask, when they have such an important responsibility laid on their shoulders?
Yes a multitude of proposals that didn’t even come close to the teachers minimum requirements. Look at other states and how much better they’re doing with class sizes, and pay raises. If you’re talking about stubborn, then Vargas would be the perfect example. It would be so simple just to accept the proposition made by the Kent Educators Association (KEA). Also, we have millions upon millions in spare money to use for the plan, and we’d still have plenty rainy day funds ( The Rainy Day Fund is what the KSD calls this back up reserve of cash ). Why seek and alternative when the real deal is readily in your grasp?
Vargas acted like a child, not an adult, when he called a surprise press conference that made this make a turn for the worse, and when he took the KEA to court. All he had to do was act as a civilized adult, and accept the plan. And if you think the recession is bad, it’s really getting better, it’s still too early to say, but if you look at our economy compared to when it first hit, it’s taking a turn for the better, and unless something truly terrible happens, we’ll be well along our way to recovery. Why you ask, that they continue to strike? Because they’re not cowards, they’re not going to give up for something they really believe in, and are willing to fight for it. You complain of like being boring, theres plenty of things you could do, I’m sure. For a strike like this to be illegal is ridiculous, i mean, I see the sense of it, but we can always make it up in breaks, Do you really need 2 weeks of breaks at a time? we could skip a few, we have too much break time during the school year as it is.
This strike calls as a valiant effort by the teachers, and the many students and parents that support them. School absolutely will start soon, if only our foolish superintendent would as so kindly please accept the KEA requirements of the contract. Our distinguished educators have spent hours and hours in blistering heat and rain for a truly honorable cause, would you have that dedication to your students and fellow city folk?