Damian Trujillo

Labor Fight Between San Jose Teachers and Evergreen District Impacts Student Athletes

Student athletes are now caught in the middle of a growing battle between a South Bay school district and its teachers.

A long-running labor fight in San Jose's Evergreen school district means teachers are refusing to work after hours, and that includes coaching the sports teams. The change means the track team, and maybe other student athletes, will be forced to the sidelines.

"I'm very upset," parent Tiffany Tapia said. "We have a group of kids that were at the elementary school and they were all ready for this. They had prepared. They had been training."

Tapia is referring to many students hoping to run in a cross country event.

Parents are angry after receiving a letter saying all fall sports will be impacted by the labor dispute between the Evergreen school district and its teachers.

The teachers have been picketing since the beginning of the school year and are refusing any extra work, including coaching until they reach a settlement.

The district said it has been nearly impossible hiring substitute coaches.

"Unfortunately it's just a busy season, and a lot of folks who would normally provide that kind of support are engaged with other schools," said Charles Crosby, Evergreen schools spokesman.

The district said other after-school programs are also in trouble. In addition, the popular back-to-school night will now a back-to-school afternoon because it will need to happen during school hours.

Teachers said they do not like their stance, but feel they have to take it.

"There's so little that teachers have control over, and one thing they do have control is the activities outside of the regular work day," said Brian Wheatley, Evergreen Teachers Association president.

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