The first day of the United Teachers Los Angeles’ strike kicks off with a gloomy ambiance, as rain pours upon the picketers on Jan. 14. The loss of teachers leaves the role of supervision over entire grades to a couple of substitutes and administrators.
With more than half the demographic of the school gone, each grade is grouped together in the multipurpose room, gym, and a hall to remain some part of order. The school day has been broken up into block periods, creating three sessions, where they rotate the locations where each grade will reside. Events such as the blood drive remain stagnant, as the strike rages.
As a substitute for the lack of lessons and regular curriculum, administrators and substitutes have taken over in response with career and goal related lectures. Displaying videos and inspirational speeches, substitutes are attempting to inspire some productivity.
In other rooms, administrators are trying to continue school work by handing out computers and encouraging that students take this time to catch up on online programs, including Naviance, Apex, and Albert.
Cheers arise, as slowly an increase in students take leaves to go home, an hour into coming to school. The general response from students is regret over coming to school, and a great number decline coming tomorrow.
Surprisingly not chaotic, students are treating each session as a study hall by studying, playing cards, and having fun on their phones.
“I think they’re doing it for a good cause, and I don’t blame them,” Bianca Gao, a sophomore SAS student said.
As teachers protest against the District, the safety of students is put at the highest priority. Students who take advantage of the school bus are escorted and released at a different stop, in case teachers try to stop students from entering the school. Three hours in, the weather has dissuaded picketing, and no teachers remain at the front of the school.
Contrasting fears of danger for student safety, the number of present students are not overwhelming, and rowdiness has not spread.
As the strike continues, teachers remain adamant for the purpose of smaller class sizes, a raise in salary, and more staff. Students seem to support the teachers’ cause, but if the District and LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beautner fail to respond, the effect on the students’ education will be catastrophic.