SAYRE, BRADFORD COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – While teachers in the Athens Area School District will return to class Thursday, a walkout in the neighboring Sayre Area School District continues.
Seniors who are expected to graduate this year returned to class Wednesday even while their teachers were still on the picket line.
Students in the Sayre Area School District have now been out of class for seven days.
Graduation Day for seniors has been scheduled for months for Friday, June 3rd and administrators say despite the strike, they don’t want to change that date.
While teachers in the Sayre Area School District remain on the picket line, 65 seniors returned to school Wednesday morning.
The kids will try to get enough education time in to keep their graduation day the same.
“We have several seniors that have to go to college early or are going into the armed forces and need to leave for training and things like that,” Sayre Area senior class president Dominick Miller said.
The Sayre Area administration has been working with the Pennsylvania Department of Education to make sure all of the senior’s missed instructional time is made up.
With teachers still officially on strike, the kids will be learning job interviewing skills and civic responsibility.
“There’s absolutely no educational value on whatsoever. It’s just a stunt by the board,” Sayre Area Education Association president William Trump said.
The district says it came up with this idea after hearing from many parents who had already sent out graduation announcements and booked airline flights for relatives.
“I am glad we’re going to be able to graduate on time because I have vacation planned for right after school and I was kind of upset that we were going to have to go on the (June) 15th!” Sayre area senior Iziac Wright said.
The teachers’ union is angry with the move that is being made.
“If they were really concerned with the quality of education, they would have come back to the table, met with us and got the teachers back here and all the students back here,” Trump said.
Besides Wednesday, high school seniors will also have to report to school on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 30th in order to keep the graduation date the same.
The Sayre Area Education Association can only strike for two more days.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, teachers must return to the classroom by next Monday so that all students can meet their educational requirements.