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What? A strike? Parents blindsided by looming LAUSD walkout that is closing schools

Sonja Sharp and Andrew J. Campa, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

“I’m 100% on board,” said dad Gio Rangel, 29, who works for UPS and is part of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “If we don’t have a contract by August, we’ll be on strike ourselves.”

According to a recent Loyola-Marymount poll, almost 80% of L.A. parents said they would support a teacher’s strike if labor negotiations broke down — though those interviewed Wednesday and Thursday estimated support for the upcoming strike at closer to 50%.

That would be a stark contrast with the six-day teacher’s strike in 2019, when tens of thousands of parents kept their children home even as classrooms remained open — staffed by the very workers who are leading the walkout on Tuesday.

The difference, said Jessica Aguilera, 34, is that families four years ago had more time to prepare.

“This time, a lot of parents don’t know,” the mother of three explained as she waited for dismissal at 153rd Street Elementary School in Gardena on Thursday. “I was handing out fliers and they were totally in the dark.”


With so little warning, many parents found their solidarity threadbare.

“I don’t really agree with the strike — three days is a long time — but these workers are doing double duty,” said 186th Street Elementary School parent Yazmin Hernandez, 32, as she filled bags with crayons, scissors, pencils and glue for students to take home. “The district isn’t giving them the benefits they’re supposed to. They go above and beyond and get nothing in return.”

For her, understanding had an expiration date.

“Three days we can bear it, maybe,” she said. “But more than three days, no.”

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