Scranton School District teachers officially on strike

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Eight hundred teachers and paraprofessionals in the Scranton School District are now on strike.

Hundreds of teachers and paraprofessionals started their morning at 7:00 a.m. protesting at schools throughout Scranton School District.

They then made their way to the administration building. All while parents figure out new plans for students across the Electric City.

“Being at home is fun. There are so many things to do in the house like play with toys and there’s a trampoline and pool in the backyard,” Camden Sims, a first-grade student at John Adams Elementary School.

First-grade student Camden Sims is one of the nearly 10,000 kids out of school as teachers protest what they say are unfair working conditions.

For working parents in Scranton that rely on bringing their kids to school every day, this disruption has them looking for another alternative.

“It changed a lot. Usually, I run my little errands and do a little housework, working on a couple of projects with some properties. I have friends that own properties in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre so I go help them change water heaters and pipes and paint and do stuff like that so it really put a little dent in my activities,” explained Renardo Sims.

Sim’s is spending the day at home with his three kids instead of working. But despite the inconvenience, he sides with the teachers.

“They need to be taken care of. It’s fair even if we gotta stay home for a little while and thug it out and make changes in our lives. But teachers are valuable assets to the community, to the future and they need to be taken care of,” stated Sims.

Scranton Jewish Community Center (JCC) has been running a daycare for decades. They are expanding their services during the strike with a “school’s out” program to help parents in need.

“What it is, is a place for parents to drop off their children here at the JCC. We have different programs like arts and crafts, swimming, sports, to keep your kids busy for the time that you need to go to work and you need your kids to do something,” explained Mindy Vanfleet, the facilities director at the JCC.

Finding something for kids to do as hundreds of teachers and paraprofessionals picket across the city. Teachers tell Eyewitness News they’re grateful for all of the community support.

“The incredible amount of support we’re getting from parents because they know we are doing the right thing. They know we have their interest and their children’s interest in mind and we’re doing the right thing,” said Jennifer Telesco Loftos, a first-grade teacher at John Adams Elementary School.

As of now, it’s unclear where they go from here. But teachers tell us they’re willing to protest for as long as they need to.

With students not in school during the strike, the Scranton School District is still serving meals to kids.
Meals will be given out Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at each school.

If the strike continues into next week, additional meals will be distributed to children on Tuesday and Thursday at the same time.

Teachers plan to begin their protest at their individual schools across the district at 7:00 a.m., making their way to the district administration building at 9:00 a.m.

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