Teacher rally at Lewisville Park

Hundreds of teachers, parents and students gathered at Lewisville Park in Battle Ground Friday to show their solidarity after a county judge ordered all the teachers in Battle Ground Public Schools to return to work Monday.

On Friday morning a Clark County Superior Court judge ordered Battle Ground Public Schools teachers to return to work Monday.

The district filed an injunction against the Battle Ground Education Association (BGEA) Thursday following a vote by the school board Wednesday. The strike that has been going on since Aug. 29.

“Battle Ground Public Schools’ mission is to educate students, and we want to return to that mission,” said Rita Sanders, communications manager for the district. “We are committed to continue bargaining, but the longer this continues, the greater the impact it will have on our students. We need to take care of our students.”

On Friday afternoon, hundreds of teachers, parents and students gathered at Lewisville Park in Battle Ground to show their solidarity.

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Rachel Karlsen, 5th grade teacher

Rachel Karlsen, a fifth-grade teacher at the CAM Academy in Battle Ground, has a message for the school district after a Clark County judge ordered all teachers in Battle Ground Public Schools to return to work Monday. Karlsen said she got the idea from Mary Letterman, a teacher and librarian in Tacoma.

“It shows that the teachers in Battle Ground are united and we are not divided by what happened this morning,” said BGEA Vice President Marina Heinz. “Taking teachers to court is not a solution. It is a bully tactic and a distraction. The only place for a fair settlement with competitive pay can be negotiated is at the bargaining table.”

Despite the judge's ruling, 89 percent of the teachers who attended Friday night's union meeting in Woodland voted not to return to work Monday without a contract that includes the $9.6 million sent from the state for teacher's salaries.

“Battle Ground teachers will be on strike until the superintendent and the board negotiate a fair contract with competitive, professional teacher pay – just like nearby districts have done,” Heinz said. “We appreciate the strong support from the community, including local businesses, parents and our students themselves.”

(3) comments

JBranstetter

"Taking teachers to court is not a solution. It is a bully tactic and a distraction." I say the bully tactic is holding students and parents hostage to get a better deal from the distric. Will the students not attend school for the rest of the year in order for the teachers get exactly what they want? If not for the rest of the year, how long? Two weeks, a month, or perhaps two months. The teachers care about the students, but there seems to be a price tag on that care. Will the teachers allow this strike to go on indefinitely? Also, I guess some people in this society only want a judge's ruling to be obeyed when it suits their purposes.

PhotoBug

This evening the union voted to continue the strike (89% for). The damage is done... kids won't be in school for the immediate future, and fellow employees are kept from work because of this strike. When will the insanity stop? When people go to jail or are fined for contempt? And what happens when this is over? This is a fiasco... and the public has a very, very long memory.

Shotgun

Let's send these so-called teachers to the areas being destroyed by the hurricane. They can be used as sandbags.

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