Washington State Teachers Threatened With Termination for Antiwar Student Walkout
On November 16th, over 1,000 students in Washington State walked out to protest the war in Iraq and the presence of military recruiters in public schools. Students at Foster High School in Tukwila, Washington organized and 150 walked out, saying “Money for Schools, Not War.”
Foster students rallied at the school flagpole, marched down to the I-5 overpass, and then marched to the Tukwila City Hall. The march and rally were student generated and entirely peaceful.
In reaction the Tukwila School District has done the following:
• Suspended one Social Studies teacher, Brett Rogers, who supported his students in a student generated democratic movement
• Threatened administrative action against five other teachers
• Threatened to discipline students for exercising their First Amendment Right to free speech
When Brett Rogers was asked if he had a personal stake in the war, he said: “It’s an illegal war and my cousin is deploying December 4th, and I’m not happy about it.”
Please call and email the Principal and Superintendent now!
Tell them they need to:
1. Reinstate the teacher Brett Rogers who has been put on administrative leave!
2. Drop the disciplinary hearings against all six teachers who face investigations!
3. Support the initiative and moral fortitude of students who took a stand against the effects caused by this war to their communities!
4. Take no disciplinary action against students who participated in the walkout!
We request that you flood the school administration with phone calls and emails. Tell them to halt all disciplinary action against students and the Tukwila Six!
Foster HS Principal George Ilgenfritz: (206) 901-7905
And Interim Superintendent Ethelda Burke: (206) 901-8000, (206) 901-8006,
Please send a copy of protest emails to us at email@example.com so we can count how many protest emails have been sent in.
If they refuse to answer your call, call Foster HS Assistant Principal Daryl Wright (206) 901-7902 and Foster HS Office Manager Darlene Aguiluz (206) 901-7915.
MORE BACKGROUND INFO:
On Friday, November 16th, more than a 1,000 students in Washington State participated in a nation-wide student walkout to protest the war and military recruiters in schools. This included around 150 students at Foster High School, just south of Seattle. Foster is part of the Tukwila School District, of which 71% of the student body is low-income and eligible for the free and reduced-cost school meals. Since the beginning of the Iraq War, the U.S. military has been assigning ever greater numbers of recruiters to lure young people into signing up for this bloody, costly and illegal quagmire in Iraq, especially in marginalized schools like Foster High School.
Student made signs, walked out, marched to an I-5 overpass and the Tukwila City Hall for a civic and peaceful assembly. Now the principal and school district superintendent have begun a witch-hunt against students and at least six of their teachers and threatened to suspend students who walked out. The students took a bold stand against the war and these teachers have stood up for their students, some of the most disenfranchised in the state, both inside and outside the classroom. Students who walked out are threatened with truancy, and their teachers’ jobs are on the line. Now, who will stand up for these students and teachers?
One teacher was put on administrative leave on Monday, November 19th. On Tuesday, November 20th, at least five more were delivered memos notifying them that the Tukwila school district was “investigating reports of possible misconduct relating to you in connection with the student walk-out.” These teachers were further notified that t
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