Community Torn Amid Contract Negotiations

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Wed, May 2 2012 at 6:08 PM, Updated: Wed, May 2 2012 at 11:46 PM

Parents and kids in Eagle Point say they're caught in the turmoil between teachers and the district.

"It's super hard, it's terrible for the community. I mean everyone is like torn between it and your best friends are on the other side. It's just a horrible thing for the community," said Joey Edwards, who is a mother of four boys; all of whom attend school in the Eagle Point School District.

Contract negotiations between teachers and the district have been contentious. Sticking points include teacher prep time, subcontracting agreements and job security for bus drivers.       

However, if there's still no agreement by May 8th, teachers say they'll strike.

"Walking out is the wrong answer," began Edwards.

"The kids are saying we need to be walking out, I don't want my kid walking out," she said. 

With senior project presentations quickly approaching on May 11th, some 12th graders at Eagle Point High School say they're worried.

"It's not really fair for the students because we give our presentations in about a week and we need the teachers there to help us be prepared," said Eagle Point High School Senior, Shelbie Zelnar.

Other students, however, say they're not concerned.

"I've has a lot of teachers reassure me," said Maria Pulido, who is also an Eagle Point High School Senior.

She continued, "I think the teachers just want what's best for them which is ultimately going to affect what's best for us too."

Mother, Joey Edwards who has friends on both sides, says a resolution needs to come soon.

"This is such a close community that it's tearing people apart, it's not good at all," she said.

At this point, teachers and the district only agree on one thing...neither side wants a strike.

If an agreement isn't reached by Monday May 7th, it's expected the teachers will strike.

If they do, district officials tell me they plan to bring in substitute teachers to finish out the school year.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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