Some families stand in solidarity with Oakland teacher strike

Bay Area

As Oakland teachers walked the picket lines on Thursday, some parents who are in support of the strike, chose to send their children to recreation centers instead of school. 

Organizers at local rec centers did their best to keep the kids focused on learning despite the change to their typical school day routine. 

Salvation Army Capt. Purnell Hall said he’s prepared to keep the facility on Garden Street in Oakland open for additional days if the strike continues. 

Hall understands some families may have a tough time paying for childcare during the strike. 

 “You never want to see the school or teachers in the school district go on a strike,” he said. “Because ultimately everybody pays the price for it, but during this time, we felt this was a need.”

Ken Siedler chose to keep his son Deven out of class. Instead of making his son sit through a substitute teacher’s lesson, Sideler decided they would both volunteer their time at the Salvation Army. 

Siedler said, “We have spoken a bit about the strike, especially the work that goes into coordinating it, between the parents and the teachers, and really what it takes at the community level.”

The Charles Porter Golden Gate Recreation Center housed more than double the number of kids it does during normal school weekday mornings and afternoons. 

“It’s already kind of difficult to work with the kids that we have because there’s always more kids then there is staff,” Rec aid Taziha Ford said. “So, now we’re way understaffed to the point where we’re probably going to have to call people in that aren’t supposed to be here.”


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