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Parents striking schools

They oppose union's donation for Proposition 8

Posted: October 25, 2008 9:58 p.m.
Updated: December 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.
At least five local families plan to keep their kids home from school Monday as part of a grassroots effort to punish a teachers' union for its opposition to Proposition 8, one father said.

"People are forwarding e-mails - I've been pelted with this from all over Southern California," said Sean McLaughlin, the parent of two William S. Hart Union High School District students. "It's not officially sanctioned that I know of. It's more of a grassroots type of thing."

McLaughlin said he knows at least five families who plan to keep their children home from school on Monday but said he hasn't been networking to try to find out the numbers.

Students are the only ones hurt by staying out of school, said Hart district Superintendent Jaime Castellanos.

"Not only do they miss out on valuable instruction time, but their absence means the district loses attendance money which is vital to support education in these tight budget times," Castellanos said in a statement.

Monday's "School Sit-out" is aimed at the California Teachers Association, which donated $1 million to oppose Proposition 8 on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The proposition would amend the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

The "School Sit-out" is designed to counter the actions of the union by denying schools the money they receive for daily attendance, according to a Craigslist posting.

"The goal of 100,000 kids missing school for one day erases the donation made by the teachers' union and sends a message that parents will hit them where it hurts to protect our children," the Craigslist post reads.

McLaughlin plans to keep his kids home from Hart High School and Placerita junior high on Monday.

"We'll just have them not go, and then we'll call the schools and tell them they won't be there," McLaughlin said. "I'll probably just tell them the truth: that we're protesting the California Teachers Association's donation to the ‘no on Prop 8' campaign."

"Some people don't believe this is the way to go, to involve children, but it might be a good civics lesson for them," McLaughlin said.


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