More than 100 teachers, along with parents and students, protested Monday morning after the District’s budget problems forced the firing of over 300 DCPS employees.
“Education not termination,” the crowd chanted.
Around 8:45 a.m., protesters rallied outside of McKinley Tech High School, one of the schools most affected by the cutbacks.
“This is affecting all of us, I know it seems like … It’s serious,” said Taylor Robinson, Senior.
“I was never evaluated, that was supposed to be part of the process, I was housed for seven weeks, it was humiliating and degrading,” said Valencia Becks, laid-off teacher.
Many of the laid-off teachers say the firings were based on personality, age and race rather than performance. Now, the teacher’s union is fighting back against the lay-offs by filing lawsuits as early as next week.
This comes after several D.C. teachers spent their weekend cleaning out their desks for the last time.
The teachers were told they could come back to school Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to clean out their classrooms and offices, but at McKinley Tech arriving teachers found the doors locked.
After more than an hour of waiting on the steps of the school, teachers were let in to clean out their classrooms and offices. In total, 388 employees were let go, including 229 teachers.
City officials blame the cuts on a $40 million budget shortfall and say the majority of schools in the District weren’t affected.
But opponents say they don’t believe the cuts are all due to money.
“How can it be due to budget cuts and you still have persons in the building, not fired, with 80 to 90 thousand dollar salaries,” a protester said.
“We’re going to fight tooth and nail to the end until we get answers,” a protester said.
The cuts had a major impact at McKinley, leading to violence and arrests outside the school.