Protest Watch

Hear Message to East Parents About Student Chaos Amid Teachers' Strike

Hear Message to East Parents About Student Chaos Amid Teachers' Strike
Special to Westword
Schools in Denver are open on the first day of the teachers' strike, with administrators and substitutes among the instructors tasked with overseeing the academic needs of affected students. But from the reports were getting thus far, there isn't a whole lot of education happening.

Exhibit A is the schedule above, provided to a student at East High School, where picketing teachers were out in force this morning.

The student is an East senior taking honor classes, and as noted by her mother, who provided the photo, the roster "is just 'busy work,'" including a ninety-minute stay in the library to focus on "college & career" and another hour and a half after lunch of "STEM study."

But even this instructional slate didn't happen as anticipated.


When the student "went to her first 'class,'" notes the mom via email, "she said all of a sudden everyone started running out into the halls screaming, and so they made everyone leave and they locked the school . So her and her friends walked to Starbucks and bought twenty hot chocolates and handed them out to the teachers."

She adds: "Just wanted to let you know of the pandemonium going on at East!"

That's putting it mildly, as seen in the following video shared by Fox31 (and a number of other news outlets):



Later in the morning, East parents received a voicemail, which can be heard here.

DPS_voicemail.mp3


The recording's quality is a bit iffy, but here's our best shot at a transcription: "Dear East parents and East community. We wanted to let you know that we started the day with a large number of students at school. At about 8:30 a.m., a large number of students walked out of the building towards our teachers off of campus. We heard a report that we had students who were kicked out of the school. This was not the case. There were students who left the school who were not immediately let back in due to a concern about a large number of students not being supervised in classes and in the hallway as well."

The message continues: "Students who had an interest in being back in school have been integrated back into school and into classes. All students are welcome to return to school and to class. If the student has a copy of a schedule they were provided this morning, they may return with that schedule for the remainder of the day. If a student is coming into the school without a schedule, they may report directly to the auditorium to obtain a schedule."

The voicemail notes happiness "that all of our students are safe, and we're interested in the continuing safety of our students" before providing a contact number for parents or guardians who are "worried about their student walking out of the school."

And this is only day one....

This post was updated to include a voicemail sent to East High School parents about a student disruptions related to the strike this morning.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts