Kentucky teachers’ sickout closes state’s largest district


Union describes walkout as “disruptive”

Kentucky teachers’ sickout closes state’s largest district

Naomi Spencer

7 March 2019

Louisville, Kentucky area teachers carried out a “sickout” action Wednesday, March 6, affecting more than 100,000 students and forcing a closure of the state’s largest school district. The mass action, organized by a new group calling itself “JCPS Leads,” forced Jefferson County Public Schools to cancel school for the second time in the space of a week.

Overflow crowds, dressed in red, have continued to jam hearings at the state legislature in Frankfort to oppose a raft of anti-public education bills. On February 28, schools were also closed in Jefferson, Fayette, Carter, Madison, and Berea Counties after teachers called out sick en masse to protest HB 525, which would change oversight of the teacher retirement system.

Yesterday’s powerful “sickout” was predictably attacked by Republican Governor Matt Bevin who maligned it as “a handful of activists” interested in money and power. But, increasingly worried that the growing anger of teachers is moving outside their control, the local affiliate of the Kentucky Education Association echoed such slanders, calling the sickouts “disruptive” and “undermining” community support.

Kentucky teachers protest at the state capitol

The Jefferson County Teachers Association’s (JCTA) statements prompted a firestorm of outrage among teachers. Commenting on Facebook, one teacher said, “Wow JCTA. Way to immediately throw the teachers you represent under the bus. Every parent response I was reading last night was in FULL support of teachers. We finally get them on our side and you throw us to the wolves. Shame on you.”

Many other similar statements followed including,…

Read more