KSD School Board Mtg. Cancelled? What Are They Afraid Of?

The KSD School Board cancelled its regularly scheduled meeting for today, September 9th.  The next regularly scheduled School Board meeting is not scheduled until September 23rd.  This meeting is open  to the public for observation, and includes a time for comments and questions from the audience.  The School Board instead has been meeting behind closed doors in executive session the last few days to discuss bargaining.   You can view the School Board’s meeting schedule and agenda here

Once again, the School Board is avoiding input or pressure from parents, teachers, and community members that may help to settle this strike.  Whether you are for Kent teachers, you oppose them, or you are somewhere in the middle, you should be afforded the opportunity to address your elected officials to make your voice heard!  School Board President Jim Berrios was willing to meet a small group of concerned parents last Friday at his restaurant.  School Board member Chris Davies is also willing to meet with a small group of parents this evening.  They should be commended for doing so.  However, the fact that they are avoiding larger groups in situations where they do not have complete control should tell us something of their reluctance to accept criticism or to be held responsible for their decisions.   They twice locked out hundreds of parents who arrived last week to voice their support for teachers at a regularly scheduled meeting times.  Emails and letters to the School Board and Dr. Vargas have been so numerous that other administrative personnel have been responding to them.  And still the District stalls at the bargaining table! 

This is OUR district, not theirs– they work for us.  If they chose at any moment to become directly involved in bargaining, they could direct the District bargaining team to accept any KEA offers or make any counteroffers that would move both sides towards a settlement.   Their reluctance to get directly involved, combined with  their choice to focus the energies of the District towards legal action and bargaining with the public through their often inaccurate information or out-of-date postings of contract language should only be seen as a major reason why Kent is the only school district in Washington, and perhaps even the United States that is still on strike.  It is time for parents and community members to tell School Board President Jim Berrios and his colleagues to step out of the shadows and hear the voices of those they are accountable to!

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56 Responses to “KSD School Board Mtg. Cancelled? What Are They Afraid Of?”

  1. what is wrong with you Says:

    Comment deleted for violation of blog policy against personal attacks and name callling.

  2. KSDParent Says:

    “This is our district, not theirs – they work for us.” In my opinion, this district works for our kids and not the teachers or the teachers’ union. And the only ones not being served right now are the children. While the District and the KEA throw stones, our children wait and wait. As parents, we are powerless. And as parents, we should not get involved in a labor dispute. That is why teachers pay union dues. Please leave us out of it and stop holding our kids for ransom.

    • Mom Irate with the District Says:

      I think he meant the collective “us” as in the citizens of Kent. And you’re wrong. As parents, we have to get involved. We have the most invested in this. We need to let them know what to do, not just sit back and wait and complain.

      • KSDParent Says:

        This is a labor dispute and both sides are twisting the truth. There is no way that we are getting fact unless we are sitting in that negotiating room. So, supporting one side’s story is simply prolonging the strike. Believing the union because teaching is a noble profession or believing the district because they are public servants is completely illogical. We can only support a positive collaboration between the two parties and right now, it appears angry mobs are preferred, so we just have to wait.

  3. wish I could change districts Says:

    My 11 year old’s comment this morning – “basically the teacher’s are blackmailing the district in order to make more money” I don’t agree with him and I tried to explain to him that’s not what it is ALL about. But be careful, your actions are speaking very loudly to the children you intend to lead and instruct.

  4. what is wrong with you Says:

    KEA, I didn’t call anyone names. I said, why don’t you put out a meeting for the parents to come and voice their opinions, towards the KEA. You post only what you want people to read, and delete what you don’t want them to read.

    • FAIRWOOD PARENT Says:

      I would have to agree with “what is wrong with you” I have never called names, or been rude. Truthful, yes, but EVERY posting I have put up here has been deleted. If you are going to have a blog you are supposed to post BOTH sides of the issue!!!

  5. Covington Mom Says:

    Dear Union Leaders:

    Several parents want to know in advance what the teachers will be saying to their students about the continued strike when returning to the classroom. How will they justify their actions in defying the court order? Teachers are supposed to be setting an example for their students and showing respect for authority so that the students will also show respect for authority.

    Several very young children are asking, “So, does being part of a union mean you can break the law?” “Not everyone gets what they want. Why would teachers break the law?”

    Most parents support the wishes of the teachers, but defying a court order is a whole different issue. There are other ways to accomplish their goals.

    So, please formally announce how “breaking the law” will be justified. Parents also need to know what to be telling their children in the meantime.

    Thank you!

    • Tuvok Says:

      I assume that teachers will not be allowed to discuss the strike with students per district request. Questions will probably be directed toward the principals or school board.

    • covingtonguy Says:

      teachers educate children, they may set the example for some kids, but shouldn’t that be done at home? I will set the example for my children.

    • teacherpride Says:

      I think this might be a tougher issue for elementary teachers. I am a secondary teacher and have thought about how I will address this with my students. I hope that all teachers will be tactful and thoughtful about this and not bad mouth either side, even though both sides have had nasty moments. I think for me, the best thing I can do is tell them the truth. I made an informed choice to defy a court order, I knew their could be consequences to my actions but I beleived that what I stood for, and what the overwhelming majority of other teachers were standing for, was right. I think I will advise them that I considered it a matter of individual choice, I will remind them that sometimes acts of civil disobedience are used to demonstrate a belief. I don’t expect them all to agree with my decision, nor will I try to persuade them to do so. Also, I think I will tell them that if they ever find themselves in a similar situation I would hope that they make an informed choice, do what they believe to be right but be prepared to be accountable for their actions, while also respecting the choice of others who do not agree with their position. Something along those lines.

  6. Got Tape? Says:

    Thank you for posting the “16 items the Kent School District has already agreed to” on th KentSchools.org website. It’s good for the public to see ALL of the IMPORTANT items that KSD has approved so far in negotiations. Some of the 16 are:
    Items 1, 2, and 3: The district will supply boxes and tape to a Teacher having to move to a different classroom or School
    Item 6: The District will put the page numbers in the contract
    Item 8: Pregnant Teachers will stop working when their Doctor decides, not when their administrator decides
    Item 10: Guest Teachers(Substitutes) will be paid 4 cents more per day
    These are 6 of the “16 items the KSD has agreed to”
    Just thought some people might find it interesting.
    Teachers, we love you and support you!!!!!!!!

    • Suzanne Says:

      In order for them to have been agreed to…they had to have been ASKED for… while I feel it’s pathetic that’s as far as we’ve made it. I also feel it’s pathetic that they were even part of the start of negotiations. I am certain a teacher could file a suit if not allowed to stop work when a doctor orders it, just like any other profession

      I am so disheartened by both sides that I am no longer a proud parent in the school district, instead I am physically ill over the childishness that I am seeing from BOTH sides, but especially the name calling by the KEA (something I havent seen on the KSD side).

      What i got out of the KEA flyer left on my door was that the only thing keeping my kids from school is 2 meetings per month and Middle/HS student caps. Seems to me we need to meet in the middle.

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        We’ve moved far from our initial proposals towards the middle ground you speak of. The District moved from contract proposals designed to punish the union in April to proposals that seem on the surface to be close to our proposals. However, their contract proposals include a variety of counterproductive language that are purposely written to cancel themselves out or that leave out any accountability on the part of the Administration to uphold the contract and solve problems.

      • teacherpride Says:

        Middle/High School caps are a serious issue and one for which we should hold out. While it does not happen in every classroom across the district, it happens too much. Last year I had 38 students in my second period class. The students did not have enough tables and chairs, although I requested them repeatedly. This is why we need a class size cap. The union proposals so compromise, we are not asking for anything unreasonable. Please, I understand that this is frustrataing and the behavior on both sides has been sickening at times (a lot of times). And yes, I am saying that as a teacher and a member of this union. But, the bottom line is class size caps are reasonable, and in the best interest of students.

  7. kent teacher Says:

    Kent Parents meeting!
    when: 9-9-09 @ 6pm
    where: KEA office 104th & 244th ST.

    *Connect with other parents in support of our teachers and get information about what is going on with KSD.

  8. CounterpointSue Says:

    Emotions are running high and I know that everyone is frustrated with the current situation. Regardless of where you stand on this, I think we can all agree on one thing: We all want this to get resolved quickly so that we can get school started and begin the healing process.

    The fastest way to get this resolved is to put pressure on both sides to bargain. The union is highly motivated to get the bargaining going in earnest, but the district has been reluctant to commit to the process, hoping the teachers’ resolve will weaken and they will return to the classroom without a contract. It’s standard for both sides to be at this place at this time in the hopes they will get what they want in bargaining. It’s simple strategy.

    There’s one thing that everyone needs to understand–there’s no going back now. If the teachers were to return to class without a contract, we would all lose thousands of dollars of pay and everything in the old contract that had a deadline would no longer be viable (we lose our right to grieve violations or unfair practices among other things). Assuming, then, that this won’t be resolved by the teachers giving up, the only way to resolve this is to get both sides talking, making concessions, coming to compromise, and then shaking hands on the deal. I say that we put them in a windowless room, throw in a few pizzas and some beer and tell them they don’t leave without an agreement. OK, maybe we can’t do that, but you understand the idea. So, how do we do this?

    Here’s what each person can do, regardless of how they feel about this strike: Call or email Supt. Vargas and the board members and tell them to get back to bargaining and get this done. You don’t even need to know what the proposals from either side are to do this. It’s irrelevant anyway, since they are obsolete almost from the moment they are printed or posted. You don’t have to agree with the teachers or the strike to do this. We can agree to disagree and still reach the same goal: One way or another we will get a contract settlement between these two parties. Teachers won’t get everything we want. The district is going to have to give in on some issues and meet us in the middle.

    So, Kent community, please don’t be a passenger in this car. Sit behind the wheel and make the calls, write the letters/emails, and be proactive. You don’t have to say you support the teachers or the strike, or that you support the district. All you need to say is, “Get back to the table, start talking, and get this done NOW.”

    • Parentof2 Says:

      Thank you for your honesty!! I agree that we don’t have to agree with one side or the other in order to express our disappointment that bargaining has ceased. I will send emails again to the board and Dr. Vargas expressing my desire that they resolve the issues.
      I want my kids in school. I am frustrated they haven’t started yet and wonder what the “new” school calendar will look like when they do go back. However, I can’t expect the teachers to go back to school without a contract. They will lose all bargaining power and the problems will still not be resolved.

  9. FAIRWOOD PARENT Says:

    Deleted for violation of blog policy against personal attacks.

  10. Growing Impatient Says:

    I don’t know what to believe anymore. All I see is a community being held hostage for reasons, while important, are not worth the harm forced onto Kent families. I heard some teachers chose not to break the law and returned to work. That is great and probably a difficult choice to make. I hope the other teachers will be brought to their senses soon.

    • teacherpride Says:

      Teachers are aware that this strike is difficult for our students and the community. Our focus is on the long term goal. If we give in now, we are shooting ourselves in our collective foot for years to come. We need class size caps and we need the professional respect of being able to decide how to best use our time during our contracted day to best serve our kids (that is the issue with meeting times and limits on those). On behalf of my fellow teachers, I apologize for the stress and inconvenience this is causing your family. I hope you can join us in looking to the long term and holding out until this is settled. We all hope that is soon.

  11. ST Says:

    Do you acutally believe what you are saying in this post? I see that the post above was deleted yet your blogger can say whatever they like?
    You talk about attacks and not playing fair……I can tell you that I am glad I do not belong to your union becuase the representation is anything but professional and full of mistruths…being nasty does not get anyone anywhere. Go back to school at take care of our children. It is your job!

    • Tuvok Says:

      I am confused. You say “Go back to school at take care of our children. It is your job!” You make teachers sound like a daycare. Was that in your intent?

  12. Another Parent Volunteer Says:

    I don’t know why KSD cancelled the board meeting. Perhaps administrators are busy working on items related to the teachers issues. Perhaps KEA should consider that their behavior was a contributing factor. Have you ever noticed that the KSD District office and the board room are not very large. Have you considered there might be a fire code or safety concerns for both vistors and employees?? I don’t think that the behavior in previous press conferences speaks well of the union leadership when they booed and hissed as someone else was trying to speak. The parents rally’s trying to storm the district office seem to me to be in poor taste when there are many people in those offices just trying to do their job (the worker bees). Where were these parents trying to go anyway??? I have had my voice heard. I emailed KSD AND received a reply. I don’t need to be disruptive and disorderly. Lets all try to get along.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Perhaps you should watch that video of the press conference again. I think you overstate the actions of a few and apply them to the group. Meetings of elected officials are to be held in public. KSD policy states that all Board decisions must be made in public. They can still enforce rules of conduct and behavior. They can still have security on hand to remove unruly audience members. They can always hold School Board meetings in larger spaces, if needed. The bottom line is that the strike is over when the District’s leaders choose to come to the table with proposals that address the needs of Kent’s schools in a meaningful way.

      • Another Kent Parent Says:

        Yeah…that’s terrific… lets have the district have open meetings with security so our kids can see their teachers being escorted out for being unruly. I watched the press conference, and as stated before, I am glad I could only hear those in the background instead of see them, as seeing them would of been worse. My vision of teachers is always calm and serene, which I know is silly as my best friend is a 5th grade teacher and I’ve seen her at her worst, but still hearing those teachers yell and interrupt was very unsettling.

      • kenteducationassociation Says:

        I agree that some acted unprofessionally at that one event, or at isolated times and places on the picket line. The vast majority of KEA members have, by and large, been united, supportive, and professional. The fact remains that the press conference was sprung on Kent teachers without any notice. Those individuals acted out in the emotion of the moment. To paint all teachers with the same broad stroke is unfair and inaccurate.

        The true issue is that parents and community members are being misled by the School District. The only avenues for them to ask questions or give input to the leaders of the District are being blocked. If the District is in the right, why won’t they at the very least agree to a conversation with the community beyond the handful of parents they have met with?

    • teachershusband Says:

      if they have got a gym that can hold 1300 teachers then they can have a school board meeting there. What a Joke!

  13. In Support of the cancellation Says:

    Correction, KSD works for the parents/students of the community, not the KEA. I support the cancellatio, as we do not need anymore negative reactions from people who cannot try to allow this issue to resolved without all of the negative publicity that only creates more divisions amongst us all.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      Correction to your correction– many of the KEA are also taxpayers and parents in this District. I understand what you are trying to say, though. But why would the district be afraid of negative publicity? Perhaps it is not used to constructive criticism, or the watchful eye of the public? Many people talk about “holding teachers accountable.” Most teachers are very supportive of this idea, as long as the other pieces of the education puzzle are also accountable for their roles. We believe public meetings will keep our elected leaders accountable, too.

  14. Need for change Says:

    Is there anyone on the board who is genuinely working with both sides to solve this? When are the next elections and who are the bad eggs that we need to replace?

    I’m not pleased that the board would cancel public meetings during this time of need. If anything, they need to be holding more meetings to help families understand what is going on. No matter what side of the issue you are on, we need information so we can make plans of our own. This day by day delay is what is killing all of us.

  15. Barbara Says:

    It is a sad day when our local elected officials of the Kent School District refuse to meet with the public (on any level) and cancel a school board meeting? Do they fear parents and students so much that they are afraid? I hope more parents and teachers are flooding their emails and sending letters to show their dissappointment in them. As the school board, they could intervene in negotiations and further them along. Instead, they continue to hide with Dr. Vargas.

  16. question Says:

    what is the deal w/ the picketing? Again today, I drove by staff at Meeker picketing at 8:30, gone by noon. Public perseption is the only weapon you have remaining since you no longer have even the law on your side. What do you think the public thinks of you picketing a couple of hours a day. Suggestion: use the alphabet to divide into four groups that picket 3 hours per day, encourage people to arrive early, stay late, but do at least three hours.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      We are trying to get the message out in as many ways as possible. We don’t believe that our teachers and staff best reach the public by picketing alone. We have done shifts and other activities to keep our picket lines fresh and encouraged. We don’t want teachers to return to work for the first day of school completely worn out, either! 🙂 Thanks for the suggestions and concern, though.

  17. KentStudent Says:

    I think this is growing out of control. The district and the union should mesh together and be working together for a new financially responsible year, and have school start soon.

    I think that as of now the KEA blog is being extremely irresponsible with its posts. ‘What are they afraid of?” “This is OUR district not theirs!” This is all unacceptable and sounds mildly childish. It’s obviously clear the district isn’t in the best of shape. I don’t believe that they were financially prepared for a strike, and now that it has happened, they’re running around with their heads cut off. However, students are watching adults act like children. What kind of example does this set?

    If you don’t like the rules, disobey them?

    If someone does something wrong harass them for it?

    From what I’ve seen all of the teachers are sitting out picketing and aren’t providing anything for the district. These blogs could be so MUCH more beneficial if they were suggestions on how the district could improve and steps they could take to succeed. Like I said, the KEA and KSD should mesh together like gears working side by side, and not throwing mud.

    I suggest that the blog start providing more solutions and start communicating more with the district. And if the district isn’t compliant, they should be responsible for that.

    • kenteducationassociation Says:

      The District could improve by bargaining with us instead of sending back photocopies of previous proposals with one line scratched out, and then bragging to the public that they are bargaining in good faith. This blog is designed to bluntly show when the District is working against the interests of its employees and its students. The level of nastiness that you think you are seeing from KEA is nothing compared to what KSD is doing, has been doing, and will continue to do just out of the public eye unless teachers stand up and say, “Enough!” If you think reading this blog is infuriating, try editing it.

    • What I've been teaching Says:

      I’ve told my 3rd grader that sometimes people believe very strongly in something and when you believe in something that strongly, you have to stand up for that belief, no matter what other people think/say. This is why the teachers are striking…

      I tempered that with this, “However, with that conviction, you have to be willing to take whatever consequence comes your way. This is what is most difficult in standing up for what you believe is right.”

      I’ve told her that the teachers are willing to accept the consequences laid forth because they believe what they are doing is ultimately for the greater good. And unfortunately, sometimes we have to be aware that consequences don’t only affect the person making the choice, but are far reaching.

      This, I told her, is why we need to be strong in our convictions and always conscious of how our actions effect others.

      I hardly worry my children will throw the strike back into the faces of teachers. I’ve used this strike as an opportunity to teach them that every action has repercussions beyond the intended. This is why negotiation and problem solving skills are so important. This is what I’ve been teaching…

  18. covingtonguy Says:

    Surprised and appalled at lack of leadership in this school district. They cancel their meeting, during a strike? Perhaps the teachers of this district are correct in their claim that they have been ignored by the district since April, seems they are ignoring a lot a people….

  19. Cheryl Cole-Blanton Bernard Says:

    Why close the doors on our children?
    I want to work as a guest teacher but be abused by children who don’t want to do anything but be a cut up. And think he can get away with it. Please tell us the cost of the classes. We need to have excel sheets of the cost per class / or/ cost per student as Fred High gave us when I was on the citizens budget review committee. These need to be made public. CBRC was an excellent source of material on how we spend the districts money. Tell them we will send construction paper back. Tell them anything so we at least get to the table to settle this. Staying away does not make a district. I agree that what the board did is wrong by not having a meeting. These people need to know why we feel this way after years of abuse. There are board members who have given this a jumping board for their political careers. The public needs to call for thier heads.

  20. keamember Says:

    Teachers a house divided will soon fall…..Stay strong!

  21. d richardson Says:

    Why would they allow you into another public meeting after the rude and childish behavior you displayed at Dr. Vargas’ press conference? You are also saddly mistaken if you think the school board and administrators work for the union. Check who signs your pay check.

  22. ashamed to be a prior educator associated with Kent Teachers Says:

    Personally, I am glad that students are not in schools right now, not with “educators” who rally together to beat on windows, violate their contracted agreement for employement with the state, and choose to follow the words of your negotiator without knowing 1)his reputation and 2) the other side of the story.

    Since when is it acceptable- as a child or an adult- to go to a place of business, break through closed doors and shout/scream/jeer, call names, and make false statements supported by inflated “facts” relayed to you by your very own union representatives?

    You say it’s not about the money, that it’s about class sizes and respect… but reality is that it’s all about the money. Would you be willing to give up the extra money KSD puts into YOUR salary so your classes can be smaller? The state of Washington is where this battle lies, not with the district. If the state would increase the base salary for teachers, then KSD could afford to give you your smaller class sizes AND you would still have a fairly decent pay scale. Not all other districts have the tax payer’s money to inflate teacher salaries. TAX PAYER’S MONEY. If you keep acting like this, do you really think the TAX PAYERS will pass the next levy to increase your check?

    Until your fearless and cunning union leader came on board, KSD was always a district that supported their teachers… They still are for the teachers- sadly, you are allowing yourselves to be swept away by tales of cities of gold.

    Try teaching in a DISTRICT of at-risk schools, where there is one teacher to 35 first graders, where 7 of them do not speak any english and 3 of them do their best to learn and translate for the others because they only have an ELL teacher at the school 2 days a week. Do that for a quarter and then tell me how you feel about the district’s proposed class target of 27 students K-3.

    And let’s not even TALK about the “respect” you feel you deserve- have your actions done anything to earn that lately? Not in the eyes of the public- you are a joke, a laughing matter. How many of you have actually used your independent non-teaching time to actually prep lesson plans and grade papers, or did you ditch out on work early for that M’s game, take an extended lunch, or maybe take a nap before your next class of students came in? Bet you didn’t mention that to the media. I don’t blame the district for having non-teaching activities be district mandated… knowing some of the teachers I had growing up, and some of the teachers out there now, I would too! Unfortunately, it’s those who abused the planning time that have ruined it for the rest of you, not the “big bad district”… Please.

    In the blog there is a hypocritical double standard- “no personal attacks or name calling” but really, that is only for members of the KEA, since your members are openly naming specific people in the Kent District in your bully-bashing parties.

    You’re not marching for civil rights. You’re not marching for gender equality. You’re taking away the credits and seat time that is needed for seniors to submit their early acceptance applications for colleges. You’re costing bus drivers and cafeteria workers and janitors, and other hourly employees their wages. While school is not a daycare, you’re costing those families that much more every single day that the parent/s have to find child care for their children because you don’t want to do your job, you don’t want to earn the respect you’re asking for.

    • concerned parent Says:

      Thank you, Ashamed, for so clearly stating what should be obvious to KEA leaders and members. But they still don’t get it. District officials and school-board members don’t sem to get it, either.

      I am very disappointed in the school board meeting being canceled because I was looking at it as an opportunity to ask questions and get answers. I chose to e-mail the board president to find out why the meeting was canceled.

    • kent teacher Says:

      Ashamed…2 things, first, I assume with the breaking doors and banging comment you are referring to the injunction press conference. I would like to ask if you were there. I was there and the amount of disruption has been blown way out of proportion by the media. While there were a few interuption by some people, it was in no way the melee the media tried to portray it as. Most of the people there were completely silent an just listening to Dr. Vargas talk. If you were not there, don’t talk about it. Secondly, I respect your opinion that the district has always suported it’s teachers, but I also respectfully disagree with it. Not only am I 10 year employee of the District, but also the son of a recently retired teacher who worked in Kent since 1970. While I will agree that at one time this was one of the great districts to work for in Washington, The problems and lack of respect for the teachers started long before the current KEA leaders came into office. I have seen it percolating almost since the day I was hired. In closing, all of the things that the union is asking for are things that are common practice in almost every other district in the area. WE are not asking for anything that is outlandish.

    • Teacher Says:

      Yes!!! I am willing to give up the pay for a smaller class size. And many teachers on the line I work on are too. Smaller class sizes also reduces our workload. Two birds with one stone!! I am truly aware of the cost to the other employees in the district. I live with 2 other KSD employees who are not KEA. Yet they have also lived with me trying to manage time for 30 kids in a room meant for 24. They have seen me give up so much of my own time they don’t even try and plan anything during the school year. I think it is an important issue. Even if the district would give a little without all the loopholes I’d be happy!

    • Mom Irate with the District Says:

      So, how are the TAX PAYERS in Auburn, Sumner, etc. able to pay their teachers better AND have actual class size caps rather than targets? Perhaps they have better administrators?

    • Kent mom Says:

      1) Clearly you have one-upped the Kent teachers by having your entire district at risk, as opposed to just some of the schools. What does that prove? That their objective is not a worthy one? You may be willing to seek martyrdom rather than change for the greater good, but to each his or her own, right? I will gladly take the lawbreaker over the martyr as my child’s teacher.

      2) Civics lesson: When a levy presented to the voters seeks funds for technology, operations, etc., the money actually funds technology, operations, etc., not teachers’ pay raises.

      3) It’s my understanding that the previous KEA leadership was in cahoots with the district, perhaps explaining the “support” that you refer to. All I see at present, though, is that nearly 1000 well-educated, independent-thinking individuals voted to put themselves where they are now, so surely there is a good reason for it.

      4) Naming names and citing offenses is different than name-calling. I thank the KEA and their intrepid blogger for sharing information that we would not otherwise have.

      5) Were you formerly an educator or formerly associated with Kent? It’s difficult to tell from your name. (Snarky? Yes. What can I say…some people bring out the worst in me.)

      • Kent mom Says:

        I forgot to add that I don’t care for unions or strikes — never have. But that can’t change the fact that our public school teachers are unionized and this is how unions work.

    • teacher support 100% Says:

      Actually, KEA sent in a proposal that was $277,000 less in pay then the KSD proposed so that money could be put towards classes. It is not about a raise anymore. It is about 30 kindergarteners in a class half of which speak very little if any english, and kids sitting on floors sharing books.

      As for being inappropriate, we cannot control our peers. There are people for the teachers not acting professionally, and people not for the teachers not acting professionally. I would love to stop the hecklers at the meetings, and also the people flipping the ginger at our teachers when there are children out there with them. There will always be people on both sides who need to refrain from joing the effort.

  23. Long time Parent volunteer Says:

    Thanks so much “What I’ve Been Teaching my Third Grader” and “Covington Guy”. I so appreciate your responses. My own children know that the teachers have worked with the district for many years and tried to get reasonable things. The attitude at this district by many of the administrators is one of disrespect. Try being told that you are only allowed a 13 minute lunch break during an inservice. I have paperwork showing that an administrator and secretary did the math and figured out exactly how long of a lunch the parttime staff were to be allowed. Why are we paying people $100,000 plus to make up rules like that? Why won’t administrators sign necessary paperwork so a staff member can go to a class on their own time, paying for the class with their own money?

    The teachers and other union members have tried to work with the district and did not want to strike. Other district don’t all treat their employees this way. Finding the money to pay people to cross picket lines but not finding money for the students should show you how little the district values the teachers.

    Thanks teachers for doing this even though it is tough. The changes you ask for are reasonable and necessary. We believe in you. Stay strong!

  24. Len Dawson Says:

    Jim Berrios has been quoted as saying the meeting was cancelled due to “lack of content”. I’m finding it hard to believe in the midst of a teacher strike with HUNDREDS of parents who wanted to address the board that they couldn’t have filled the scheduled time at the meeting.

  25. Chloe Says:

    Sounds to me like there should be a “Parents Coalition” to tell these teachers to get back to work. Your public support is gone.

    • Parent Says:

      There is a parent coalition in support of the teachers. If no fair contract is reach by Sunday, the Kent Parent’s Coalition is going to the court to begin proceedings to recall Kent School Board members.

  26. teacher support 100% Says:

    We have a Kent Parents Coalition started. Join us on facebook if you are interested.

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