Parents who are struggling to figure out what to do with their children due to a three-day strike in the Los Angeles Unified School District have slammed officials for being unable to come to an agreement.
Angry parents, whose children were forced to stay out of school Tuesday, expressed outrage at one video of teachers dancing in the rain during the first day of the strike.
Moms and dads on social media called out the educators and employees who said they are using nearly 500,000 students as ‘leverage’ in their own battle for better pay and other benefits.
‘What about those parents who work at restaurants, warehouses, retail etc…who don’t allow children? Trying to juggle kids while not being fired is stressful to many,’ wrote Helen Yesenia Ramos.
‘Working parents should not be struggling,’ Ramos, who identifies herself as a parent of LAUSD students, said on Facebook.
The strike has caused ripples in the lives of so many residents that venues like the Los Angeles Zoo have offered free entry for students and reduced admission for parents looking for something to do with their child.
Upset parents whose children were forced to stay out of school Tuesday slammed one video of teachers dancing in the rain during the strike
Parents like Rachel Elder (left) and Helen Ramos (right) have taken to speaking with local news outlets and sharing social media posts to discuss the disruption the strike has caused
‘Those government officials or in positions need to come up with better solutions in situations like this. Working parents should not be struggling,’ said Helen Ramos, a parent
Other parents on social media called for the groups to stop using children as ‘leverage’ in their battle over pay and labor practices
In the video posted to Twitter Tuesday evening, teachers and even some young children are seen wearing ponchos and holding umbrellas as they dance.
While some applauded at the video, others did not view it with kind eyes.
‘Dancing around while children sit around unsupervised at home. Definitely on the right side of history!’ said one person on Twitter.
‘Or, you could go back and teach the poor kids who lost out on 18 months of education in your district,’ wrote another user.
More than 1,000 public schools are closed across the area.
According to a union representative with Service Employees International Union, Local 99 (SEIU 99), the strike will end Thursday and classes will resume Friday.
While some applauded at the video of the teachers dancing, others did not view it with kind eyes
The video shows the educators dancing in the rain while holding umbrellas
‘Or, you could go back and teach the poor kids who lost out on 18 months of education in your district,’ wrote one Twitter in response
Another video of teachers and staff dancing was shared by Newsweek
This map shows the schools throughout the Los Angeles area closed during the strike
The strike is slated to end on Friday after three days, officials said
In addition to pay and health care benefits, the group is calling out LAUSD on ‘unfair practices’
The sentiment carried over to Facebook where parents expressed their outrage and sadness over children losing out on days worth of schooling.
‘Do your job and get to the negotiating table. You are the ones failing the families that attend LAUSD Schools,’ wrote one commenter on SEIU 99’s post about the strike.
One man who identifies himself as a California resident in his Facebook profile said he is ‘disgusted’ by the strike.
‘I’m disgusted by this LAUSD strike starting Tuesday. This was supposed to be the first “normal” school year since the 2018-2019 school year…’ Dustin Bowen said.
‘The children of Los Angeles aren’t leverage for political agendas or wage negotiations. The kids have been through enough the last three years,’ he continued.
‘I agree that the school district should pay school staff members more, but not at the expense of children,’ Bowen wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday.
Rachel Elder, a mom who took her son to an Echo Park rec center for the day, told NBC 4 she felt that she had no other choice.
‘It was either working from home with my son playing video games and not have anything to do or it was finding some pod of people that might be in the same boat,’ Elder said.
LAUSD is the second largest school district in the United States, just behind New York City Public Schools which has more than one million students.
Some parents have been forced to take advantage of free and reduced admission to places like the Los Angeles Zoo, the Natural History Museum in Exposition Park and the La Brea Tar Pits, and the Petersen Museum.
Many parents are still struggling with childcare and some with meal coverage for students who rely on LAUSD for food throughout the week.
‘I’m disgusted by this LAUSD strike starting Tuesday. This was supposed to be the first “normal” school year since the 2018-2019 school year…’ wrote Dustin Bowen, who identifies himself on Facebook as a California resident.
The La Brea Tar Pits is offering admission to students impacted by the strike
The Peterson Automotive Museum is offering free admission to students 17 and under
Local libraries are offering extended hours and programs for children
The Natural History Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits is also offering admission
The Los Angeles Zoo is currently offering free admission to students and reduced price admission for accompanying adults
According to SEIU 99, the union alongside UTLA are working toward better pay and fighting against concerning practices.
Last month, after SEUI workers voted to authorize a strike, the district allegedly subjected employees to ‘surveillance, intimidation, and harassment’ as the negotiation process was slated to begin.
‘This afternoon, SEIU Local 99 had agreed to enter a confidential mediation process with LAUSD to try and address our differences. Unfortunately, LAUSD broke that confidentiality by sharing it with the media before our bargaining team, which makes all decisions, had a chance to discuss how to proceed,’ SEIU officials said.
The group says LAUSD has a history of ‘continued disrespect of school workers’ and the strike was their clear and only option.
Protests involving thousands of educators and school employees took place across the greater Los Angeles area Tuesday as some 65,000 workers did not have to go into LAUSD schools.
In the rain, members of SEIU 99 and UTLA arched around while showing off signs with messages that decried the district for not adhering to their demands.
‘I voted to strike for quality schools, better lives!’ one of many messages plastered on the numerous protesters’ signs read, with another insisting the non-teacher school workers ‘keep schools safe.’
‘Respect us!’ the picket sign added.
Among their major requests, SEIU are asking for a 30 percent pay raise, increased employment hours for part-time workers, a $20-an-hour minimum wage, and full health care benefits for those working at least four hours a day.
Staff of Los Angeles’s only public school district went on strike on Tuesday, shutting down the country’s second-largest school system in the process
The protests comes after their latest round of negotiations for increased pay with the LA Unified School District schools fell flat last week, opening the door for more than half a million kids to miss school
Some were seen descending to their respective schools, while others flocked to the district’s bus yard while refusing to start their day
Low-wage workers including custodians and bus drivers were joined by teachers in solidarity, and aired a series of rallying cries such as ‘Whose house? Our house!’
Members of Service Employees International Union Local 99 – the group who had been engaged in the talks – were among those marching in the cold rain Tuesday
Superintendent Carvahlo decried the possibility of a strike, citing the prolonged campus closures that interrupted students’ learning during the pandemic
LAUSD’s superintendent, Alberto Carvalho, said he has tried to negotiate with the union in good faith.
‘Under California law, we cannot drive the school system into a bankruptcy position. We cannot drive the school system into a red position. And if we were to acquiesce to all the demands, that is exactly where we would be, that is not legally allowable,’ Carvalho told CNN.
The superintendent says he is ‘eagerly awaiting’ SEIU’s counter proposal and that administration officials are focused on bringing kids back to school.
‘We should not be depriving our students of an opportunity to learn,’ Carvalho said.
SEIU officials fought back against Carvalho’s statements, however, saying they had no choice but to strike in order to force change.
‘If the district doesn’t realize that our members are valuable … once they stop working, then nothing’s really gonna change,’ a union rep said.
‘Ultimately, what we’re seeking is improving the schools – equity in schools. That’s what we’re seeking,’ the rep continued.