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Hundreds of students at Dos Pueblos High School walked out of class and off campus in support of teachers

GOLETA, Calif.—Great teachers are known to advocate for their students, and Friday hundreds of students returned the favor by advocating for their teachers as they negotiate for higher pay and benefits.
Students walked out of classes after first period Friday morning and headed to Girsh Park in a show of solidarity.
“The walkouts are super important because we want this to be as public as possible. On being Goleta We're pretty far away from the district office, so I think this is a way for us to be seen and heard,” said Senior Class President Aiden Myers.
Students pointed out that Santa Barbara Unified underpaid teachers by $6.7 million dollars, and had to seek a waiver from the state in order to do so. 
“We want teachers to receive the 20% that they've been asking for. The district gave them a counterproposal. Only eight this year. And that's just not enough. Santa Barbara is so expensive to live in. Other districts are getting paid so much more and it's just not fair,” said Myers.
Students also say that their peers are paying the price, now that teachers have stopped participating in extracurricular activities like clubs and lunchtime tutoring while they negotiate with the district.
“No tutoring affects all students, but especially low income students. We don't have any resources when it comes to tutoring. We can't just go out and hire a tutor. So a lot of times we depend on our teachers to give us that one on one help,” said Associated Student Body President Valeria Tiburcio Romo.
Santa Barbara Unified School District and dos pueblos staff say they were aware of today's student demonstration.
“ As an administrator, it is our job to keep them safe no matter where they go. And so if they exercise their First Amendment rights with this, then we will work with them to make sure that they are safe,” said Dos Pueblos High School  Assistant Principal Melissa Gilbert.
In a statement on negotiations, the Santa Barbara Unified School District said in part, quote, “We are committed to work in earnest with our labor partners to find solutions that support and value our employees while keeping our district fiscally strong.
The district is intent on not engaging in incremental bargaining and put forth a proposal to bring an early settlement.“
The district did meet with the Santa Barbara Teachers Association for a second negotiating session on Tuesday, November 28th.
The next meeting is scheduled for December 12th.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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