Friday, March 18, 2011

Thousands of L.A. Students Walk Out, Protest Mass Teacher Firings

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) issued over 7,000 pink slips to teachers and support staff (around 5,000 just for teachers) in order to close a $408 million budget gap. Thousands of students walked out of class today across the city to protest the layoffs and to send a message to legislators to start fund schools adequately.

Hundreds of students walked at Belvedere Middle School in East L.A., according to KTLA. They had also gotten petitions signed and wrote letters to the district. Students walked at Manual Arts High, as well as at Estaban Torres High, in East. L.A. Over 3,000 students were expected to walk out of Hamilton High School, according to Mike Klonsky, who also happens to be an alumnus there. Students carried with picket signs and “Save Hami” T-shirts. According to a statement made by Hamilton students,

“This is not a school wide "Ditch Day." We are walking out not to avoid our classrooms, but to save them. To protest the terrible budget cuts our school could face. To protest the 22 pink slips handed out to our beloved teachers, to protest the potential closure of our school library. We are walking out to protest the increase of class sizes by 50% or more. And we will walk out to stop our magnets from facing a 90% loss in funding.”

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