Willapa files injunction to end teachers strike

The Willapa Valley School District has filed an injunction in Pacific County court seeking to force teachers who have been on strike since Dec. 3 to go back to work, Superintendent Nancy Morris said Thursday. The case will be heard next Friday, she said.

The school board passed a resolution on Wednesday authorizing the district to file the injunction, said Dan Folkerts, spokesman for the Washington Education Association teachers union.

Willapa Valley Middle and High School was reopened for the senior class on Thursday morning. Four teacher-certified administrators, including Morris, were presenting project-based curriculum that combines math, science, current events and English, Morris said.

Students were also working on their resumes, scholarship applications and electronic portfolios, said Morris.

She said the district felt the need to get the students back into class “to minimize absences, help with the overall number of necessary make-up days, and to proceed with their education.”

“In any teacher strike, students are the ones who are hurt the most,” she said.

Twenty of the school’s 25 12th-graders attended on Thursday, and the school was open for seniors only again on Friday from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., Morris said. One administrator who has a food handler’s card was preparing and serving lunch for the students while another administrator handled cleanup, she added.

The teachers were still on strike and picketing the school on Friday, according to Morris.