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District could take Seattle teachers to court as strike looms; parents group rallies around educators

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SEATTLE — The union representing Seattle teachers says the district has called an emergency meeting Tuesday to discuss the option of taking teachers to court.

Teachers authorized the strike vote last week — something the district says opens the door for a lawsuit. If approved, the superintendent could take legal action against teacher in order to end a potential strike and get students back in class.

The school board will meet to discuss this option Tuesday night.

Some parents rally around teachers

A group of parents are supporting the teacher’s union even in the event of an impending strike in Seattle.

“The parents are really being left out of this discussion and they don’t have a voice in the PTA is cautioning us to be neutral and I don’t feel neutral about this,” Soup for Teachers Founder Ljiljana Stanojevic-Penuela explained Monday (September 7, 2015). “The district fell down on the job and parents don’t have a way to get back to them.”

As negotiations continue, they’ve been bringing the union bargaining team three meals a day as a way for parents to show their allegiance.

“They just came out with a unilateral decision on extending the elementary day by half an hour without paying the teachers for that. That doesn't seem fair,” Soup for Teachers organizer Summer Stinson said.

Posters and treats are headed to the picket captain meeting where the logistics for a strike are coming together.

“I know we are emotionally prepared because we feel like we've been abused by the district for a long time,” Picket Captain and Greenwood Elementary Teacher Jean Bastasch, said Monday. “The district chose not to use the summer to do that so it's going to take time now to make that contract which might result in a strike.”

If a strike becomes reality, these parents say they won't waiver.

“We will stand behind the teachers and continue to provide food for them throughout any strike, we hope it's not long,” Stinson added.