Part of the Bay Area News Group

Students join their teachers on the line

By cburt
Thursday, April 29th, 2010 at 8:11 am in finances, strike, students, teachers.

Students support teachers at Oakland High

Students support teachers at Oakland High

7:30 a.m.  Reporter Chris Metinko said about a dozen students had joined a group of about two dozen striking teachers and other supporters at Oakland High School on MacArthur Boulevard.

“We need our teachers to do too much to not pay them well,” said Khadijah Byrd, 16, junior.

Emily Macy, a second year social studies teacher said she thought the one day action was unifying.

teachers and students picket at Oakland High

“In Oakland we have a high turnover rate so this is helping (unite) the new teachers,” Macy said. “The older teachers have been through this before, but the new teachers haven’t.”

“Our major goal is to show the School Board and superintendent that we do have wide support from the community to be able to provide high quality education to our students,” Macy said. “The strike shows we do have a voice.

A few custodians and support staff crossed the line to work.

Rose Qabazard, one of 28 school nurses who are also affected by the contract, walked the picket line.

“Oakland Unified hasn’t had a strike for 14 years. Even if it’s a one-day strike, it brings our issues to the forefront,” she said. “It’s a wake-up call.”

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  • http://www.skylinehs.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=77763&type=u&rn=6808095 David Orphal

    It’s true that teachers do not get paid near what they might in the private field. When I thought I might have to move out of the area, I began looking for work. One job I interviewed for offered $73,000 as a starting salary… a starting salary! That’s nearly $10,000 more than I make with 15 years of experience teaching in Oakland.

    The one thing this private job didn’t have… All of the wonder young women and men that I get to teach every day here at Skyline High.

    I teach because I love kids. The District must not take advantage of our love for our children in order to continue imposing the lowest pay in the county. I love kids, but I have to pay rent, too.

  • Cranky Teacher

    It’s not just the district, it’s the whole state. I am really saddened at the dearth of activist leadership by the state teachers unions to have us all on the same page — all the public school teachers in the state should be on strike at the same time to wake people up to the fact that our current revenue and distribution models are broken.

    Why is it so hard to see that investing in schools for poor and middle-class people is practical, not idealistic? That it is cheaper to help a child with a learning disability to read through intervention than to pay for their prison care later? To have a school psychologist who can talk a kid down from suicide or murder? To have enough security and truancy staff to make sure students are in school and not running the streets?