Local Teachers Warned About Walkouts

Some St. Joseph area teachers say if they walkout, they could lose their jobs.

Posted: Feb 27, 2018 11:32 AM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 3:06 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) A nationwide student walkout is set for mid-March. The protests are in response to the recent shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

KQ2 received an anonymous tip Monday morning that St. Joseph area teachers were told by email they could lose their jobs if they participated in the walkout. President of the St. Joseph Community Teachers Association, Lori Witham, said she sent the email.

"The intention was strictly informative. There was nothing I put in that email that says do this, don't do this," Witham said. She said her goal was to remind fellow teachers of school board policies.

According to those policies, "The board is committed to peacefully resolving labor issues but will not hesitate to act if district operations or the student learning environment are disrupted. No employee shall engage in any strike, walkout, work slowdown, stoppage or interruption of work, work-to-rule, boycott, refusal to cross any picket line, sit-down, picketing, sick-out or any other practice that disrupts the school environment or district operations."

Further, the policy reads if an employee participates in one of these disruptive acts, they could be fired.

Witham said she has no opinion about whether teachers should or should not participate. She says she just wanted teachers to know all the information before making a decision.

"It's something that is near and dear to all of our hearts," Witham said. "Teachers are a creative bunch. I think they can find another way to voice their concerns."

The National School Walkout is scheduled for March 14, 2018 and the Women's March Youth Empower group organized the event.


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