Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Students in Tukwila, Washington are supporting a group of their teachers in trouble with the school district for taking part in an anti-war protest. The Foster High School students gathered outside a Tukwila School Board meeting Tuesday night and rallied to the defense of the teachers who are under investigation by the Board. Others, including many parents, protested inside the meeting as well (see picture).

""Why are we being punished, why are we being silenced?" asked one student reports KING5 News.

Roughly 125 Foster High students walked out of class earlier this month joining the teachers to protest the war, part of a state-wide effort. Student made signs, gathered at the flag pole out front of the school, marched to an I-5 overpass and the Tukwila City Hall for a civic and peaceful assembly.

Socialist Alternative reports one teacher was put on administrative leave on Monday, November 19th. On Tuesday, November 20th, at least five more were delivered memos notifying them that the Tukwila school district was “investigating reports of possible misconduct relating to you in connection with the student walk-out.” These teachers were further notified that they were not to discuss “this matter with any District students or staff” under threat of being terminated.

The husband of one of the teachers who received the threatening letters is an Iraq veteran. He went to Foster High School on November 16th and spoke to the students from first-hand experience about the truth of the Iraq War that the government and corporate media are actively hiding from the American people, and he walked out with the students.

Foster High School, located just south of Seattle, is part of the Tukwila school district and has a demographic particularly targeted by military recruiters. More than 70% of the student body in the district is low-income and eligible for the free and reduced-cost school meals.

The following is from KIRO TV somewhere in Washington state.

School Board Investigating Teachers In Protest

TUKWILA, Wash. -- The Tukwila School Board said they are investigating six teachers who walked out of the classroom about two weeks ago, reported KIRO 7 Eyewitness News.

The teachers and dozens of students left Tukwila’s Foster High School to attend a protest against the Iraq war.

Protesters flooded a school board meeting Tuesday night to support a teacher who was placed on administrative leave because of his actions.

Many students spoke to the school board, pointing to a diverse, well-organized protest.

Only one man spoke in favor of the teacher being placed on administrative leave.

“We have rules and regulations we have to follow. If you’re a teacher, you’re here to teach. He should be fired,” the man said.

School administrators said that rules must be followed and they have to investigate because the teachers left during school hours.

“I am not in a position to say if what they did is correct or not, but I will have to take action appropriately if we do find there were inappropriate things that happened which were in violation of their contract,” said school board president Mary Fertakis.

The district’s two attorneys are leading the investigation. There is no word on how long it will take or if students will face disciplinary action.

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