Local Protest Inspires Response from Students

Students express their opinions regarding the district’s decision to issue pink slips to high school teachers.

Written by KEVIN WU / Published June 3, 2011

On May 25 at the TCUSD District Office, Temple City High School students voiced their opinions by protesting recent layoffs notices to teachers due to budget cuts.

Kyle Evanko, a sophomore of Temple City High School, organized the protest through Facebook, where he garnered support from over 240 students.

“Protest together at the district office, and let the students’ voices about the budget cuts be heard,” Evanko wrote, enticing students to attend the demonstration. “Although it might not save the teachers, your attendance and demonstration will still make a difference.”

With a turnout of over 20 students and teachers, protestors such as Jessica Meza express their success.

“I think our demonstration definitely got our point across in a positive way,” said Meza. “Our main goal wasn’t to change anything but to make sure that the people at the district office knew how we felt about the potential staff layoffs.”

The district estimates it will need to make reductions of $1,946,000 per year for the next three years to stay financially solvent under Governor Brown’s proposed Budget for the 2011/12 Fiscal Year.

Students understand the need to curtail city spending, but call for a different solution apart from teacher unemployment.

Five teachers at the high school have received pink slips, informing them they may be laid off. In total, 23 district employees have been notified of their possible unemployment by the end of the year.

Evanko and fellow protestors understand the difficulty in saving the 23 jobs that may be lost, but they still call for “a budget solution with no layoffs.”

Other students such as Hannah Diep face the controversy with mixed emotions, expressing her disapproval and understanding.

“[Although] budget cuts are natural–something that can’t really be prevented,” said Diep, “I have a huge problem with the layoff of teachers. I’m totally against it.”

Diep continues to point out that, “Some of the best teachers on campus are going away just because they’ve been teaching for fewer years,” said Diep. “If they had to fire teachers, they should at least get to know who they’re firing.”

In many cases, pink slips are traditionally given to the newest teachers.

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