Facebook and Twitter have been abuzz this week with the latest news on the Tacoma teachers' strike. During a hearing earlier today, Twitter updates came fast and furiously. Reporters, like KING-5's Drew Mikkelsen (@drewmikk), tweeted moment-by-moment updates on the proceedings in the same way a play-by-play announcer calls a football game.
Facebook has become a community bulletin board of sorts for teachers, parents, administrators and community members alike. Posts on the Tacoma Schools page include comments supporting both sides in the strike. The page is giving people the opportunity to voice their opinions on each of the issues not yet resolved including class size, pay cuts and proposed changes to the reassignment plan.
Many of the post are from parents, like this one from Jamie Anderberg, who are frustrated over the cancellation of classes:
"This week long game of chicken is getting REAL OLD REAL FAST! I'm sick and tired of trying to explain to my 5 year old why she can't go to school. She's barely starting to learn to read and write, how..am I supposed to explain how unions and contract negotiations work. Both sides keep saying it's for the kids. If that's true than (sic) stop using them as leverage, get a deal that BOTH PARTIES can live with and GET OUR KIDS BACK IN SCHOOL!!!!"
Other posts, like this one from Matthew Mehl, offer suggestions and possible solutions to the issues still on the table:
"Thinking outside the box here, since class size seems to be one of the issues, why not have evening high school classes? At first you might laugh it off and I understand that but this would eliminate the need to build and expand schools. It wil reduce overall class sizes and will be beneficial to parents who work a late shift to spend time with their kids."
One post announces an old-fashioned, "face-to-face" gathering for Saturday, September 17th, at 7 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church in Tacoma for parents to discuss issues arising from the strike like child care and how to help educate kids while the strike continues. Organizers promise there will be "no finger pointing."