This morning we stopped by John Burroughs Middle School to visit with teachers, parents and students picketing on the fifth day of the LAUSD teachers’ strike. The group was large and upbeat for two reasons: the rains stopped, and the school district and the union were at the bargaining table.
Sycamore Square resident and John Burroughs English teacher Rene Senigram, who is also an alumna of John Burroughs, told the Buzz this morning that all week she and her colleagues have felt supported by the parents and students. As an example, Senigram told us about one of the custodians, a woman named Maria, who has been making a hot breakfast for the teachers all week. Senigram said she was very touched by the gesture of support from a staff member at the school who doesn’t make nearly as much money as the administrators or the teachers do, but took the time to show her support for the teachers.
Senigram also said she is optimistic that the strike would settle soon. She said she hoped the upcoming celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday would inspire the negotiators, and “hopefully something will come through.”
Principal Dr. Steve Martinez told the Buzz that he is hopeful, too. In fact, he said, he sees the strike as a wonderful learning experience.
“We are all in it together because it all benefits the students,” said Martinez, who has spent the last several days talking to reporters from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times about the strike issues and is looking forward to a resolution. “I know there’s going to be an end to it, and we are already talking the students about what we are going to do once everyone gets back, and the learning that will take place. I am hopeful that next year there will be additional staff members to serve students.”
The mood was very similar at Third Street Elementary School this moring, where almost a hundred parents, teachers and students lined up along Third Street to show their support for the teachers.
Dawn Salyards, a parent at the school and a speech therapist, told the Buzz that between 70 and 100 people have shown up every day. Salyards said she’s supporting the teachers because there are 15-16 students in a special education classes that should be capped at 10.
One parent told us that he’s supporting the strike because his three kinds are all in LAUSD schools and his mom was a teacher.
Judging from the honking by drivers passing by, there seemed to be lots of support for everyone who came out to support the teachers.