Ponchatoula teachers stage walkout, seek policy on school fights
PONCHATOULA - A group of employees from Ponchatoula Junior High School staged a walkout Thursday morning.
"Following the dismissal of two Ponchatoula Junior High School teachers, faculty are walking out on Thursday, May 9th to protest of the lack of transparent expectations for teachers and support staff when breaking up fights,” the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees said in a news release.
The federation said Tangipahoa currently has no policy which explains what teachers must or must not do when a fight breaks out at school. Teachers are demanding that the school board provide all school staff with a policy that “clearly articulates an appropriate protocol."
"Our members are telling us that they will no longer physically intervene to break up a fight," said Tangipahoa Federation of Teachers President Dina Esquinance. "They aren't going to stand and watch. They will certainly use their voices, they'll send a student to the office to get help, they'll use the intercom to request help, they'll yell down the hallway, but they simply aren't going to become physically involved any longer. They cannot afford to."
The teachers participating in the walkout are expected to return to work Friday.