Students organize show of support for teachers who are ‘always there for us’

It wasn’t part of the curriculum, but this week students at Rogers High School are learning a lesson in loss.

Sophomore Andre Ramsey said it’s hard to imagine some of the people who changed his life won’t be at RHS next year.

Spokane Public Schools issued 325 layoff notices across the district Thursday, citing a multi-million dollar budget deficit.

Those affected were notified Thursday morning in private meetings with their superiors. SPS said 182 of those affected are teachers.

“The teachers that are being cut, that we know so far, have made such an impact on Rogers that it’s just going to be so sad for the students that rely on these teachers every day,” Ramsey said.

The district determined the cuts by seniority.

Stacie Collier, who works at Rogers, shared a post on Facebook where she explained why there “are some very good reasons this isn’t the best alternative.”

Her post online went on to claim Rogers had the highest number of layoffs in the district, with 16 certified staff members recieving notice.

A spokesperson for the district could not confirm that number with KXLY and said they were not releasing a list of the total number of people impacted at each school. They cited privacy concerns. KXLY has filed a public records request for that information.

Collier was prohibited from doing an interview with KXLY4, unless she had approval from the district. As of news time, she had not recieved that permission.

Rogers does have many young teachers, which rank low in seniority. But, Jackee Smith sees that youth and passion as a positive. She believes those teachers are the ones who really connect with the low-incomes students in north Spokane.

“You’re going to be taking away these people that know these kid’s struggles and it is very hard to relearn someone’s lifestyle and to share your lifestyle with someone else,” Smith said.

Smith and Ramsey both have teachers who have changed their lives and that’s why they’ve organized a show of support for the staff.

They want students and staff at every highschool, along with the community, to wear brown and green on Monday to show support for teachers. Those are the colors of the district’s tree logo.

“We want to unify as a district and show, not just the people at our school that we are here for them, but all the people at all Spokane public schools,” Ramsey said. “We as students need to be there for the teachers because they’re always there for us.”

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