If they were looking for an "EASY" button to fix the stalled contract negotiations, the Clay Community Classroom Teachers' Association may have pushed the "HOT" button instead with their most recent choice of a job action.
Around 6 p.m. Monday evening, the teachers association notified individual schools and PTO organizations throughout the corporation that teachers would not be participating in after school activities until the contract is settled.
At present, school officials and board members are unsure what after school activities and programs will be affected by this move, but one parent group is making sure that students will not lose the right to participate in their favorite after school activities.
Today, the Van Buren PTO expected to send home letters with students requesting help from parents with the school's annual "Spirit Week" events and other upcoming activities.
Prepared by PTO President Stephanie Dickison, it says: "Though disappointed with this current situation, we, as parents, do not want our children to be punished for what is out of their control. Therefore, we will continue with after school activities without the teachers but we need extra help from our parents and community."
PTO leaders hope the letter will encourage parents to attend the PTO meeting at the school tonight at 7 p.m. in the school's art room to make arrangements on upcoming events.
Tim Williams, a member of the group, says that parents are trying to be understanding about the situation, but many feel that this is an unfair punishment to students for something out of their control.
"This is going to impact our third, fourth and fifth graders the most," Williams said about upcoming field trips and activities that take place after school hours. "There's some definite anger among parents over this."
Determined to continue the student activities, the group urges people to work together and help other school programs in an effort to make this as easy on the students as possible.
People interested in helping Van Buren continue their after school activities can contact Dickison or Williams at 442-1602. If you're interested in helping with after school programs at other facilities, please contact the school of your choice.