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

Alisa Gusakova was one of two Grade 12 Chilliwack students who received a $5,000 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarship earlier this year. Now, a fundraiser has been created for the teen after her mother was killed. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Fundraiser launched for daughter of Chilliwack woman killed

Money raised will help Chilliwack teen attend UFV to earn business degree

Chilliwack Search and Rescue volunteers say that a call on April 17 on Vedder Mountain was affected by bikers who rode through the rescue site, throwing rocks onto members and the patient. (Chilliwack Search and Rescue image)
Chilliwack Search and Rescue team, and patient, sprayed with rocks and dirt during rescue

Volunteer crew speaks out after riders on Vedder Mountain show no courtesy at accident scene

Agassiz Fire Department has been called to an ATV rollover on Harrison East Forest Service Road on Sunday, April 18, 2021. (Google Maps)
Agassiz Fire called out to ATV rollover incident on Harrison FSR

Morning call follows exceptionally busy Saturday as temperatures soar in Fraser Valley

A Chilliwack Search and Rescue truck heads down Vedder Road towards Cultus Lake to assist a dirtbiker with a broken leg. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Emergency crews, SAR busy with three separate outdoor recreation incidents in Chilliwack area

Calls in 1 afternoon include ATV collision, parachuter who fell from tree, dirtbiker with broken leg

Chilliwack’s historic Royal Hotel is offering COVID-style wedding packages for two weeks in June. (Facebook/ Royal Hotel Chilliwack)
Chilliwack hotel offers pop-up, COVID-style weddings for 2 weeks this June

‘Weddings can still happen, albeit in a different fashion,’ says Laura Reid of Royal Hotel

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
One man dead after shooting in Downtown Vancouver

This is Vancouver’s fifth homicide of the year

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of April 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read