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When a Teachers Strike Is on the Line, It's Better To Be Aware

Students return to school on Monday, only to complain about being there.

All right, I'll admit it: I was kind of mad that I had school on Monday. Not because I wanted all of my teachers to go on strike, but after weeks of being told that there would be a strike this week, I was mentally prepared up until the article posted yesterday morning that I would get the chance to sleep in.

When I read that a tentative agreement had been struck, three thoughts crossed my mind: One, that there was practically a zero percent chance that school would be cancelled at all this week; two, that I was glad that the strike was finally passing and I would be free of the will-they-or-won't-they talk; and three, that every single one of my classmates would be really annoying throughout the school day.

Now, I get it that the students of Geneva High School were disappointed they didn't get a day off, but let's get real for a moment: Is a work stoppage—something that would take the district years to recover from—really worth a day or two off of class work? I mean, I guess it's nice to kick back, relax, and watch all of those Pre-K shows on Nickelodeon in the morning, not to mention having the luxury of one more day for homework, but doesn't cheering for a teachers strike just emphasize how ignorant we are to the serious problems occurring in the community?

The GEA's threats to strike have been tearing the community apart for weeks, dividing neighbors and friends on whether they side with the union or the School Board. And while this bitter struggle wages on, kids are just wondering when the next day off is going to happen. Also, sidebar: Thanksgiving Break is in, like, four days. Honestly? Does one more day off make that much difference?

I had an Algebra class today in which one of my fellow students asked the teacher right when he walked through the door, "Aren't you supposed to be striking today?" This teacher told us to prepare for a test Monday no matter what. However, considering the strike seemed so imminent throughout the weekend, virtually none of my classmates prepared for the school day, only adding to their angst about the abruptly announced work unstoppage.

My fellow students: No one is asking you to be happy about going to school on Monday. Being disappointed is fine, sure, because the school-day planning was very last-minute; but to wish for the teachers to go on strike just for a day off is ridiculous, and complaining about the teachers not going on strike is even more so.

A union strike would bring so much more harm than good, and rooting for this damage makes us come off as silly and uninformed. This is my main concern: Even now, kids are still hoping for a strike to happen. Do any of my classmates really understand what is going on or how serious it is when the Geneva Education Association declares that teachers are going on strike? Maybe I'm missing something and the strike isn't any more of a big deal than a simple snow day—but I sincerely doubt it.

Be concerned about the welfare of your education, kids. Read everything you can about the issues being discussed in your community, so that if this sort of thing ever occurs again, you know just how serious an effect it could have. Be thankful that the strike is slowly fading, because this could have crippled our educational system. Give this issue the same amount of attention you give any issue, including class work or an extracurricular.

Trust me, being more aware of what is happening in the world is more important than getting a few extra hours of sleep.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

United Methodist Church of Geneva November 13, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Well said. Thank you.

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