LA
06/23/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Classrooms Trashed As Teachers Strike Impacts Schools

(The following story comes courtesy of California Watch)

By Corey G. Johnson

Fed up with what they called "stall tactics," the teachers union at the Capistrano Unified School District has gone on strike. Courtesy of the excellent coverage by the Orange County Register, below are excerpts from day one of the strike - the first in the state this year.

At San Clemente High School:

Several classrooms were trashed Thursday morning, with desks thrown to the ground and papers scattered around. Student witnesses said about a dozen students were responsible for the damage and that it was the result of students reporting to classrooms that weren't staffed by a substitute teacher.

"They did it because they could, because no one was supervising them," San Clemente High junior Anthony Saccone said. "We were supposed to do work, but there were no teachers around to tell us what to do.They said the curriculum wouldn't suffer, but it obviously did.

At Carl Hankey K-8 School:

We all feel almost victimized by what's been going on," said Hankey third-grade teacher Terry Chambers. "We don't want to be out here. We tried everything to avoid being out here; we even gave in to an unreasonable pay cut well beyond any other district in Orange County. ... They just drew a line with temporary versus permanent and forced our hand."

At Aliso Niguel High School:

Many students were reportedly heading home by midday "because there was little instruction," the teachers union said in a statement released Thursday morning. Some Aliso Niguel students were reportedly watching episodes of "The Office," according to a KTLA posting on Twitter.

There's no point in going to school," said Alia Bonetti, a senior at Aliso Niguel High School, who arrived at 6 a.m. and was planning to picket all day with the teachers. "The subs are not qualified. We're not going to learn. These people are our teachers. The subs just want money. Our teachers care.

At Las Palmas Elementary School:

Mariana Arredondo, a mother of a Las Palmas student, sat in her car honking her horn for about half an hour. Arredondo attended Las Palmas about 20 years ago and said some of the teachers who taught her are striking now and that she wanted to support them. But Arredondo said her three children, all of whom attend Capistrano Unified schools, went to class Thursday.

My kids have perfect attendance," she said, crying. "I did not want to break that. This is what I can do to support the teachers. I'll sit here and honk.