Nine Phoenix-area schools close for ‘sick-out’ teacher protest

Mar 21, 2018, 9:46 AM | Updated: 2:13 pm
(Twitter Photo/@lennieforsenate)...
(Twitter Photo/@lennieforsenate)
(Twitter Photo/@lennieforsenate)

PHOENIX — Nine Phoenix-area schools kept the lights off Wednesday after a slew of teachers called in sick to protest at the State Capitol.

A spokeswoman for the 12-school Pendergast Elementary School District told KTAR News 92.3 FM that Copper King, Westwind and Rio Vista elementary schools remained open during the protest.

The spokeswoman originally said 10 schools were closed. The decision to keep Rio Vista open was made after her initial discussion with KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Parents whose children would be affected by the closures were contacted via robocall. The teachers were not expected to be punished.

Mark Smith, a teacher at Villa de Paz Elementary School in Phoenix, said his colleagues were sick of being treated poorly and were getting ready to make demands.

“The truth of the matter is we are shutting down the school for our kids,” he added.

The district is located in the West Valley.

Word about the protest began spreading Tuesday night.

Noah Karvelis, an organizer with Arizona Educators United — an advocacy group that argues for teacher pay increases — originally said three schools were going to close because of the protest.

“They decided on [Wednesday] because there is going to be an assembly for #RedForEd at the capitol [Wednesday],” he told Mac & Gaydos.

Arizona Educators United was the organization behind the protest at KTAR News’ studios during Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s visit last week.

The group did not plan this week’s demonstration.

The group also kicked off the #RedForEd silent protest, in which educators and supporters wear red to show support for the state’s teachers and to demand schools be fully funded.

KTAR News’ Kathy Cline contributed to this report.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Rockwell Commander 112, File Image (Wikimedia Commons Photo/FlugKerl2)...
Associated Press

Wreckage of small plane located in southern Arizona; no apparent survivors

The wreckage of a small plane has been located in Pima County and there appears to be no survivors, authorities said Monday.
16 hours ago
Sarah Liguori was appointed to the vacant Arizona House seat for District 28 on Oct. 18, 2021. (sar...
Kevin Stone

Sarah Liguori appointed to fill Arizona House seat for District 28

Sarah Liguori was selected Monday to fill the Arizona House seat for District 28 vacated by Democrat Aaron Lieberman, who resigned last month to focus on his campaign for governor.
16 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/@ArizonaDOT)...

US 60 closed in West Valley because of cement truck fire

U.S. 60 in the West Valley was closed temporarily Monday during the noon hour because of a cement truck fire, authorities said.
16 hours ago
Mary Ann Friesen (Photo via Arizona Department of Public Safety)...

Silver Alert canceled after missing Chandler woman found safe

Authorities canceled a Silver Alert on Monday after a missing Chandler woman was found safe.
16 hours ago
(Twitter Photo/ADOT)...

Fiery collision on Pima Freeway Loop 101 in Scottsdale leaves 1 dead

One person died in a fiery chain-reaction collision on a Valley freeway Sunday, authorities said.
16 hours ago
One Betta, a Dutch Shepard, sniffs a mask for the scent of COVID-19 at Miami International Airport ...

Arizona officials expect ‘unusually high’ COVID-19 death, case report Tuesday

The Arizona Department of Health Services didn’t add new cases or deaths to its COVID-19 dashboard Sunday or Monday because of a scheduled system update.
16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


What you need to know about spine health

With 540 million people suffering from lower back pain, it remains the leading cause of long-term disability. That’s why World Spine Day on Oct. 16 will raise awareness about spinal health with its theme, BACK2BACK. “BACK2BACK will focus on highlighting ways in which people can help their spines by staying mobile, avoiding physical inactivity, not overloading […]
Sweet James

Best fall road trips to take on a motorcycle

Autumn in Arizona brings the beauty of color-changing leaves and a relief from summer heat. It’s one of the most pleasant times to explore the outdoors, especially on a motorcycle.
PNC Bank

How one organization supports early childhood literacy for the most vulnerable

Nearly two out of every three children in low-income communities don’t own a single children’s book, a fact that ultimately could have profound impacts even before entering kindergarten, according to Arizona nonprofit Southwest Human Development.
Nine Phoenix-area schools close for ‘sick-out’ teacher protest