Shortreed Community Elementary. (Langley School District/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Shortreed Community Elementary. (Langley School District/Special to the Aldergrove Star)

Shortreed teachers stage sit-in to defy orders deemed ‘not COVID safe’

After power was knocked out in Aldergrove on Wednesday, teachers refused to work from another school

Fifteen teachers at Shortreed Community School in Aldergrove staged a sit-in strike on Wednesday, in protest of an order from the school district after power went out.

A windstorm shut off the lights at six schools in Langley – including Shortreed – prompting the Langley School District to send students home for the day.

The district’s policy is to have teachers re-deploy to another school and work from there, but many felt that directive was unsafe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Tanya Kerr, president of the Langley Teacher’s Association, told the Aldergrove Star that teachers felt working from another school would break COVID-19 restrictions and put employees and students more at risk.

“We had a similar situation this fall when the power went out and teachers did not want to go to another school. The district said they would take it into consideration,” Kerr noted.

When the district refused to let Shortreed staff work from home, teachers stayed at the school in protest.

“I haven’t heard they will be disciplined,” Kerr said, noting the next step is to troubleshoot with the Labour Relations Board on the matter. “We are waiting on action from the district right now. The hope, for sure, is to change the policy.”

Cashmere Roder, vice-president of the school’s parent advisory council, said she is surprised that the policy hasn’t changed.

“With all of the different policies and protocols that have changed over the last nine months because of COVID, it’s surprising that this was not one they would look into right away,” Roder said.

Roder said she saw teachers sitting out front of Parkside Elementary in Aldergrove on Wednesday, adding that she figured they must have been directed to work from that school but chose not to enter.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “Teachers have bent over backwards to work from home and have proven they are more than capable of doing so. They have a plan, they are ready, so why not let them do that? It’s like the district is treating the teachers like children.”

READ MORE: Chilliwack trustee causes stir online after sleeping, smoking during Zoom meeting

“Teachers are exhausted and this was the breaking point,” Kerr said. “They are not defiant. This is their job and they deemed that it was safer to work in a building with no power than to be transferred to a different school.”

Langley School District released a statement on Wednesday, noting that teachers and staff at sites that did not have power resume at the start of the day were redeployed to other District sites.

“Due to health and safety, it is standard District practice for teachers and staff to work at other sites that are operational when a school is closed due to power outages or other unforeseen events. All of our sites have strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place including measures for any staff working temporarily in the building whether they are from another school or the District office,” the statement read.

________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

AldergroveLangley School DistrictLangley Township

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

web
Mission’s 2021 grad ceremonies to be under same COVID limitations as 2020 grad

Grads and grad-parents receive letter from superintendent breaking the disappointing news

submitted
Betty-Anne Faulkner is a true legend of the Pretty Estates

Now known as the Sandpiper Resort, the area in Harrison Mills was once the Pretty Estates

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

web
‘Wild West of Mission’: Surging traffic on rural roads threaten safety, locals report

Steelhead Community Association present concerns to council on Feb. 16

Boxes of blueberries are being sold in Abbotsford as a fundraiser for four local Rotary Clubs.
Four local Rotary Clubs hold Blueberry Blitz in Abbotsford

Boxes of blueberries available for pre-order, with funds supporing local projects

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Crown says defence case epilepsy caused fatal Surrey crash fails on balance of probabilities

‘She very clearly had some form of control over that vehicle,’ Crown argues

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read