Kelso teachers strike continues as district looks for legal reme - KPTV - FOX 12

Kelso teachers strike continues as district looks for legal remedy

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KELSO, WA (KPTV) -

Thursday's negotiations to end the teacher strike in Kelso failed, leaving kids still out of school and teachers still on the picket lines.

Classes were canceled for the second day because of the strike Thursday.

The district is sending a firm message, claiming striking is against state law, and filing a lawsuit against the teachers union late Wednesday.

The district claims the strike is causing "irreparable harm" by violating students' rights to an education, compromising state funding and disrupting services for students who are disabled or in special education.

The suit asks a judge to order teachers back to work or be held in contempt of court and face sanctions.

The teachers from Kelso say the main sticking points to reaching a deal have been pay and workload. With a lawsuit pending, they countered the district should be spending money on teachers, not lawyers.

“From what I understand, this is kind of a scare tactic or this is what they do when they negotiate,” Kelso teacher Sandy DeBruler said. “But the way we're looking at it is, why are we involving all these expensive lawyers?"

The first hearing for the district's lawsuit is Friday afternoon, and school is canceled until further notice.

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