Mary Beth Writes

My niece Susan is a speech therapist educator in the Los Angeles public schools. She is on strike and I am proud to be in her family. Teachers are the foundation of everything else we all do. For most of the skills most of us depend on to live our lives - If no one teaches you, you don’t know.   

The strike in LA is affecting 600,000 students, most of whom are poor and children of color. 75% are Latino, 8% are African-American, 82% of the students in the LA schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, the district serves ONE MILLION meals each day. 16,000 students are homeless.

The strike is mostly about class size and classroom resources. The strike is a black light on the millions of educational dollars being diverted to privately run, for-profit charter schools – schools who turn their backs on kids “with issues.” Kids from struggling families need time, attention, services, and commitment.

If a family treats their “most challenging child” with inferior-to-substandard care  - that is called child abuse and the parents can be charged.  If a government does it, it’s called “good fiscal policy”.

So carry on LA teachers. We are watching and supporting you.

Statistics are from the Washington Post this morning: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/as-a-teacher-strike-enter...

The union United Teachers of Los Angeles /  #UTLAStrong represents 30,000 teachers. Including Susan.

Susan (as some of you know) often posts “thankful lists” on her Facebook page. Susan is an observer, a thinker, a teacher, a transplanted Midwesterner living in LA for nearly 20 years. (Smart, that one.)   

This is what she wrote today.

#UTLAStrong   #UnionStrong

From Susan:

I'm thankful the unity of my colleagues in this stressful time; for the museums and trains and parks programs offering things for students to do for a while; for the parents who have been organizing snacks and supplies to support the teachers, even in the relentless rain; for the teacher assistants, custodians, and administrators inside being familiar faces and keeping safe the handfuls of students who needed to stay in school; for the community center who is letting us use their bathrooms; for the many creative ways one could wear red, rain resistant clothing; that Lakeshore learning stores spent Sunday laminating protest signs for free, for 50,000 polite umbrellas held by 50,000 gentle, yet firm, chanting marchers; for friends who came out in the rain to support teachers, for friends checking in on me and encouraging me, for the powerful entrainment that happened while thousands of people chanted in unity through the long 2nd street tunnel, for the amusing serenity of a hundred teachers in line for the bathroom at union station(we have been training our bladders for this our whole careers); for those corn muffins with meat inside that someone brought for us; for cars honking horns in support; for running into former colleagues at every turn; for the sign language interpreter who somehow interpreted the lyrics sung so quickly by Ozomatli and who interpreted the chants from up front and managed to look loud; for a much drier today; for a warm home; and for my goofy, fleece-lined rain pants.

 

If you want to be her friend on FB, send a request to the Susan Lawrence who has “UTLAStrong over her head.

 

 

 

 

Comments

I am a supporter of public schools. I want my tax dollars to be spent in public schools. That said: I was living in Santa Rosa, CA when my son started school. Based on his needs, I enrolled him in a private school for two years as he had some learning challenges. I PAID EVERY CENT OF THAT EXPENSE MYSELF. Public schools should not be deprived of the tax dollars we taxpayers pay. We need a well educated population, quality education. And that requires a community commitment...everyone’s commitment.

Keep strong, I am sending good vibes your way... Everyone needs a teacher why don't they get what they need??

Here is another good article: https://www.thenation.com/article/la-teachers-strike-interviews-class-size/

thank you for the info

I support picnic schools and teachers and I support Susan. Her thankful posts are a pleasure to read

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