Alpine Teachers behaving badly in neighboring district
By Lori Bledsoe
For The Alpine Sun
In negotiating with its teachers, Alpine Union School District has come up short. The fault is in the failing economy, in falling enrollment, and probably in poor fiscal decisions. This has been said, over and over again. The district has faced the dreary reality that if they do not fix their budget woes, and cut their deficits, the County of San Diego will take over the Alpine School District and will forever change how our education system works, here in Alpine. The district board of trustees have been under a bombardment of rants, from parents, teachers and even some students regarding the recent cuts and drastic measures that the district has had to implement.
However, as negotiations continue to go to the table, there have been no solutions to a problem that has been dragging on for over a year and a half. The teachers are frustrated. The district is frustrated, and the community of Alpine is frustrated.
The teachers state that the district is cutting too deep into their salaries and benefits package, and the district is saying that they are offering the best deal they are able to offer. But the frustration that lingers has caused some to overstep boundaries and take their picketing to levels beyond the pale. Teachers from Alpine were photographed in Lakeside, at Tierra del Sol Middle School, the work place of AUSD board member Gina Henke, picketing with placards that named Henke insinuating her role in the AUSD labor dispute. Some placards stated that Henke did not support teachers.
This action was quite troubling for the parents and students who arrived at school to find that they had to walk through picketers to make their way to their classes. The disruption spread to the school day as the Superintendent of Lakeside Schools, Dr. David Lorden, had to put out an “all-call” to the district families informing them that this demonstration had nothing to do with Lakeside schools. He also put in his message that the Lakeside board was in good standing with their teachers and there was nothing to do but show patience with the demonstration.
But Lakeside parents felt put upon by the teachers who were impeding an already tedious drop-off point for students who wanted to get to their morning classes on time. Debbie Reiter, a Lakeside parent who was caught in the confusion on Friday morning, expressed her displeasure by calling this demonstration, ‘tactless in nature’. She said, “The disruption they caused at our school was ridiculous.”