By Joshua Albert
According to Philly in Focus, a district-wide student strike has been called for tomorrow. The call for the strike comes one day after the School Reform Commission (SRC) decided to nix contracts for public school teachers in Philadelphia. Philly in Focus reports:
“The reason the Philadelphia School Reform Commission quietly voted to cancel their labor contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers yesterday was to push them into contributing to their healthcare and reinvest the savings back into the classroom, particularly ensuring nurses and counselors would be on site and that school buildings are stocked with the appropriate supplies, like pencils, pens and toilet paper.
But in response to the news, students didn’t cheer and applaud the five-member, state controlled board, instead they announced their intentions to strike on Wednesday, October 8th 2014, and every day after that until their teacher’s contracts are restored. As organizers noted on their Facebook event page, the peaceful protest(s) will include students arriving to their schools, but not entering the buildings.”
According to the event page, students will sit outside of their schools instead of going inside, in protest of the SRC’s decision. The event page said the following:
“In light of the recent PFT contract drop, teachers around the district are talking about going on strike. This is exactly what Corbett wants them to do. If and when teachers go on strike the administration can point and say, “Look at the teachers look at what they’re doing to the students.” We students cannot allow this to happen. On Wednesday, October 8th students around the district will not go to school. We instead will sit outside of our schools and will not go in until our teachers contracts are restored. We’re striking because every single teacher in the district’s benefits are at risk and being played with through politics. We will most likely be asked to disperse and go to school but if we show up in large enough numbers our chances of holding our ground will be higher. If police or other officials react with violence we will not respond. This is a peaceful protest.
Ron Whitehorne, an organizer for The Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS), told The Declaration when asked about tomorrows strike:
“Sounds good to me.”
Tomorrow is also a half day for Philadelphia students. It is not known how many students will participate in the strike, although as of this evening, 175 have RSVP’d out of over 2.4 thousand invited, according to the Facebook event page.