DALLAS TOWNSHIP --It’s been a week since teachers in the Dallas School District hit the picket lines. Now, parents have staged a protest of their own.
People could feel the tension in the air as both strikes on Friday were taking place right on the school district’s property.
Parents, teachers, and administrators essentially said they all want the same thing: for these strikes to be over.
Parents in the Dallas School District said they are frustrated and fed up with another teacher’s strike.
“I was angry this time about the strike. I was a teacher for ten years and I understand both positions… but to keep my children out of school makes me angry,” Protest organizer Joanna Cunningham said.
This is the second time teachers in the district have hit the picket lines over salary, healthcare, and workplace safety in two years.
Bob Magnotta said his son is a high school senior studying to be an engineer.
“It's hurting my son prepping to go into a very technical career,” Magnotta said. “It's just him there's a bunch of other students that I'm sure were hoping for scholarships, some of them are going into the military, and this really puts them in a bind.”
Demonstrators said they’re not taking sides for or against teachers. They just want people to sign a petition for House Bill 920. Parents said the bill would make it so that students don’t get pulled out of school during strikes.
“We're trying to send the message down to Harrisburg, the PSEA, and the administration that these strikes don't work. All they do is create discontent and strife in the community,” Magnotta said.
Maureen Conahan lives in the Abington Heights School District. It just wrapped up a strike.
She said she fought this fight years ago during the last strike there.
“It really divides the community and it's very difficult to repair once all the emotions, they stay there for a lot of years,” Conahan said.
Representatives from the teacher's side said they understand the parent's frustrations because they wish they were in the classroom as well. However, teachers hope more parents come to board meetings in the future.
“Whether it's for us or against us, I mean when you're in front of the school board that's how you get your message across,” Dallas Education Association President Michael Cherinka said.
The state has determined the last day teachers can strike is October 18.
Parents said you can sign their petition against striking in person or online.