LocationAlhambra , CA United States
Some 25 members of the Alhambra Teachers Association, joined by City Council members Katherine Lee and Adele Andrade-Stadler, protested outside Alhambra High School Friday to show their support for Los Angeles School District teachers, who have been on strike since Jan. 14.
The teachers waved signs saying “I stand with L.A. Teachers” as parents dropped their children off in the morning. Alhambra City Council members Adele Andrade-Stadler and Katherine Lee also participated. Lee teaches in the Alhambra Unified School District, while Andrade-Stadler served on the district’s Board of Education before her election to the City Council in November.
Los Angeles teachers went on strike on Monday to protest large class sizes; the lack of nursing, counseling and library staff in schools and the lack of pay raises, among other working conditions. Alhambra High School teacher Javier Gutierrez, who is also a leader in ATA, cited the proliferation of charter schools as a reason that he was supporting his fellow teachers in L.A., who are represented by the United Teachers Los Angeles union.
“We want the best schools for our students, and unfortunately in LAUSD, they’ve got a real fight on their hands, with the privatization of the schools,” Gutierrez said.
Andrade-Stadler said that L.A. teachers were striking for a noble cause. “I stand in support of the Alhambra Teachers Association staff in solidarity with United Teachers Los Angeles, because it’s not about money, it’s about the fight for public education,” she said. “Public education is the cornerstone for all democracy.”
UTLA’s demand for smaller class sizes particularly resonated with her. “We always have to keep an eye on class size, because it’ll go up and it’ll go down, so even here in Alhambra, we need to watch [it],” she said.
The demonstration was organized by David Jauregui, a teacher at Alhambra High School and an ATA representative. He cited similar teachers strikes in West Virginia, Arizona and other states as motivation. “Despite our geographic closeness, there’s also a philosophical component here,” he said. “We have to show solidarity with our neighbors as they’re taking to the streets.”
Dominic Tovar contributed reporting.