L.A. teachers unite in protest of cuts

LOS ANGELES At least 30,000 teachers staged a one-hour protest to speak out against state budget cuts to schools.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Amy Powell's report from the scene.

LAUSD Officials said they support the message but do not approve of staying out of the classroom. On Thursday, officials went to a judge to get a temporary restraining order, but that request was denied.

"The teachers of L.A., once again, along with the health and human service professionals that work at the schools, have taken a bold step, have said loudly and clearly, one hour's pay for the kids of L.A.," said A.J. Duffy, president of the teacher's union. The teacher's union, the United Teachers Los Angeles, has staged a number of demonstrations to protest Gov. Schwarzenegger's plan to cut more than $350 million away from the district.

The governor's office said the teachers are misinformed about the funding cuts. They said the district is actually receiving $200 million more this year, but it's less than what was requested.

Teacher called Friday's action a 'late-in'. Thousands of teachers arrived at their schools and spent the first hour picketing outside. Other staffers and administrators were responsible for watching the students during that time.

Officials said they are very concerned about student safety, but urged parents to make sure their kids attend school.

Teachers will not be paid during the walkout.

"We have to be willing to implement every tool at our disposal to fight these cuts," said Joshua Pechthalt from United Teachers Los Angeles.

"We just don't think that a walkout, one hour, during class time, is the right answer," said LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer.

Parents who support the teacher's actions also joined the picket line.

Teachers lost an hour of pay but said it was worth it.

"It had to be done this way," said teacher Chris Lind. "We talked about our history; we talked about standing up for rights, and nonviolent action. If you talk about standing up, you better do it yourself."

 

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