Evergreen School District students stood in solidarity with their teachers during a football game in Vancouver Friday night.
The Washington state students dressed in red at McKenzie Stadium, showing their teachers that they’re not alone in their fight for higher wages.
“They do so much for us and I think it’s a way to repay them for their respect for teaching us every single day of their lives,” Yeda Vilorra and Kafilah Davis, students at Heritage High school, said. “They deserve it.”
Thousands of teachers in southwest Washington are on strike as tense contract negotiations continue for Evergreen Public Schools and six other area districts.
In every district, wages are the main topic on the negotiating table, but class sizes, working conditions and other benefits are also at play.
Before the game Friday, district teachers marched with signs outsides the Evergreen School District offices, also dressed in red.
Drivers passing by honked their horns in support.
One teacher said students came to pass out water to the teachers.
“I have cried a few times today,” Brenda Dockem, a teacher at Heritage High School, said. “It’s so emotional seeing not only all of us together, but the community and the students out here.”
Students at the game said their teachers work hard and are not always given what they deserve.
Though many students were cheering on different teams, they said they wanted to wear red together, to show they are united in their support for their educators.
“The teachers are out there every single day,” Winston Handwerker, an Evergreen High School student, said. “They are here for us, but they’re not given what they deserve…they do everything for us and they just don’t have enough.”
Negotiations for the Evergreen School District continue through Labor Day weekend.
At this point, it’s still not clear when school will start.
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