ROSEMEAD - After 38 teachers called in sick Friday, everything was back to normal on Monday when classes resumed at two Garvey School District campuses. The teacher “sick out” occurred after the Garvey Board of Education approved a pay raise and contract extension for Sandra Johnson, the school district superintendent, by a 3-2 vote.
At a press conference Monday, the superintendent and two members of the school board announced they were “moving forward for the sake of children.”
The superintendent and school board president attacked teachers who walked out, “left their colleagues, the parents, and most importantly, the students scrambling for answers.”
The sick-out impacted Temple Intermediate School and Sanchez Elementary School in Rosemead.
District officials reported that school officials gathered students in a central location and conducted activities until teacher replacements could be found. They said classes resumed at about 10:30 a.m. when classroom staffing could be put in place.
The superintendent’s contract was extended from June 2013 to September 2014. Her annual salary was increased from $148,000 to $170,000 partly because she lost a portion of her state retirement benefits from a previous employment because of changes in the state law. Her salary, however, is less than the $203,500 paid to the Alhambra Unified School District superintendent.
Board members Tony Ramos, Janet Chin and John Yuen voted in favor of the action, while Bob Bruesch and Henry Lo voted against it.
At the press conference, the school board members accused the teachers of using “students as pawns” for the associations and district political work. Several hundred people, including teachers, students and parents attended the board meeting held last week at the Garvey Intermediate School auditorium.
Johnson said at the press conference, “According to board policy and the education code, it is unlawful for employees to involve students in their political activities and then not come to work to teach them.
“We will hold everyone accountable who continues to be disrespectful to others and provides false information to our students, parents and the community.”
The school district officials said the some teachers told students to attend the board meeting and wear red for extra credit and make speeches about the administration.
“Many parents have come to us to complain about the teachers using children at the board meeting,” the district press release said.