Dori: Why are teachers in Seattle, Kent, Bellevue taking Friday off?

Nov 11, 2021, 10:10 AM | Updated: 10:11 am
A classroom is empty with the lights off. (File photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)
(File photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

This is very unusual: People are upset with me!

It started Tuesday, when Seattle Public Schools announced that Nov. 12 — the day after Veteran’s Day –schools would be closed because they don’t have enough substitute teachers to cover for all the educators who planned to take the day off for a four-day weekend.

At least 600 SPS educators don’t plan to work on Friday.

With three days’ notice, parents who work and have to arrange childcare are left scrambling.

But it grows.

Now, Bellevue and Kent school districts say they, too, will be closed on Friday. Educators throughout all three districts say they don’t have the staffing for Nov. 12. Not enough substitute teachers, they all say.

Seattle, Bellevue, Kent school districts cancel classes Friday due to staff shortages

What? They couldn’t wait another two weeks until Thanksgiving week’s four-day break?

Let me get this straight: At the end of November, most school district employees get four days off for Thanksgiving. Then, in late December, they get 16 days off for winter break. In January, all of these districts will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday holiday – and then many around the state will get one day off between the first and second semesters.

But wait until February, when many school district employees gets nine days off for mid-winter break – and then hold out until April when they get another nine days off for spring break. Summer is a few weeks away, when 75 days of break start rolling in.

Educators: I know firsthand the number of leave requests is indicative of the (Seattle schools language, not mine) “fatigue our staff and students our students are experiencing.” The district says the days off “offer physical, mental and emotional restoration.” You don’t think this has been tough on anybody else?

But it gets a bit more unreal, too. The Bellevue School District says its Friday school cancellation is not just due to “staffing shortages” and “COVID-19 restrictions,” but “anticipated inclement weather.”

What? Inclement weather? Let me check my weather app: “Friday, Bellevue: High of 57; low of 46. 60 percent chance of rain.”

Oh my goodness, close the schools! There’s a 60% chance of rain. Bellevue, close the schools on Monday! Close the schools — it’s going to rain!

But like I said, not everyone agreed with me. Just read the comments from the KIRO 97.3 text line:

From the 425: “You’re becoming hard to listen to due to your constant I know you’re the bigliest listened-to show in the United States, but your words don’t ring of truth.”

From the 206: “60% chance of rain. I’m not going to work!”

From the 206: “Dori, the teachers seem to have forgotten how to work a semi full-time job. Out of practice from ‘Zoom teaching’ over a year.”

From the 253: “As a cop in a department where the staffing is bottoming out and we’re having to cover shifts, can I get that sweet teacher schedule?!”

From the 425: “You’re clearly out of touch. Your stupid rant is not helpful.”

From the 206: “I worked in the Japanese school system for 7 years, and I’ll tell you something — teachers would NEVER take these days off. The mentality is, how can I take the time off when my coworkers will be there, working to cover for me. It’s a responsibility to coworkers and everyone else at school. I bet these teachers taking the time off are also the same teachers who say if you don’t get the vaccine, you’re selfish.”

From the 609: “These teachers get all those days off and I work 60+ hours a week driving a dump truck. I can’t call out. I can’t call in sick. Who’s going to do my job? Who’s going to pay my bills? These teachers nowadays are a joke.”

From the 206: “How could they be exhausted they just started work in September? October, November = 2 1/2 months.”

From the 253 : “This is just incompetent school administration. What if all the police and fire fighters, grocery clerks all wanted the day off? Why doesn’t Inslee just declare a state holiday? No business would be allowed to run this way and succeed.”

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

lawn mower man...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Rebuffed by City of Seattle, grassroots volunteers get ‘Lawn Mower Man’ off the streets

After more than a year of terrorizing Ballard neighbors with noise and profanity from his encampment on a public sidewalk, Seattle’s headline-grabbing “Lawn Mower Man” has agreed to accept shelter placement.
6 hours ago
seattle barber...
Dori Monson Show

Dori: Is it time to cut-and-run for Seattle barber?

The owner of Steele Barber, with two Seattle locations, says repeat vandals and burglars with no help from city officials has him "closer to (his) limit."
1 day ago
crime, shooting...
Dori Monson Show

Kent mayor: After rash of shootings, ‘my residents are scared (but) I’m not giving up’

Multiple shootings marred a four-day Thanksgiving weekend for many cities in the Puget Sound area, but few more so than the city of Kent.
1 day ago
Reagan Dunn...
Dori Monson

Dori: King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn announces Congressional run

King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn announced his candidacy on Monday for Washington's 8th District Congressional seat.
2 days ago
gay couple wedding flowers...
Dori Monson

Dori: Tri-Cities florist settles with gay couple over refusal to sell them wedding flowers

Richland, Washington, flower shop owner Barronelle Stutzman has settled with the ACLU, citing her Southern Baptist faith as reason for the refusal.
7 days ago
Fentanyl overdose, opioids...
Dori Monson

Dori: Homeland Security Special Agent on surge in drug trafficking, fentanyl deaths

Homeland Security Investigations agent Robert Hammer describes the surge in illegal drugs, and related death counts across the nation.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Dori: Why are teachers in Seattle, Kent, Bellevue taking Friday off?