Should striking Tacoma teachers return to work?
TACOMA, Wash. – Tacoma Public School has canceled class on Monday as a result of the ongoing teacher's strike.
Friday, hundreds of striking teachers waited to find out whether they will face penalties for defying a judge’s order to return to work.
The teachers' strike entered day four Friday in the state’s third-largest school district, delaying the beginning of school for 28,000 students. Athletics will continue as scheduled.
Union leaders with the Tacoma Education Association and the school district resumed negotiations Friday morning. As of noon, there were no agreements or updates in the negotiations.
At the same time, lawyers for both sides met in court with Superior Court Judge Bryan Chushcoff, who issued the injunction ordering teachers back to work on Thursday. He could decide to punish the teachers with possible fines for defying his orders.
Judge Chushcoff requested the names of nearly 2,000 teachers who defied his order and did not show up for work. He said he does want to give those teachers a chance to respond to the allegations in court. They could face criminal fines.
Negotiations may continue through the weekend, but it appears teachers will be back on the picket lines on Monday morning.
The threat of fines will not scare union member Zach Delaney off the picket line.
“Sometimes a judge’s order isn’t the right thing,” said Delaney, “You have to stand up for what you believe in.”
“The teachers clearly don’t think they have to abide by the rules,” said Bill Wilkerson a father of parent of Tacoma students.
Wilkerson does not think teachers who are defying the order are setting a good example for students.
“My kids know full well if they break the rules there’s going to be consequences,” said Wilkerson.
Tacoma Public Schools spokesperson Dan Voelpel said there is no comment regarding the court decision. However, Voelpel said a principal at a Tacoma school had a window broken out of his car yesterday.