Peabody: Scottsdale Parent Council rallies support in wake of pending walk-out

With SUSD and all of Arizona on the verge of this historic educational walk out, the Scottsdale Parent Council has been working to help provide food and safe places for students during the walk-out. We have been in direct contact with different groups around Scottsdale to ask for their help.

Mike Peabody

We want to try to bring the different communities of Scottsdale together in an effort to lend support to those who don’t have it.

Whether or not you support or oppose the walk-out, it is going to happen unless the Arizona Legislature acts in the next few days. With 78 percent of Arizona teachers voting to walk, we understand the districts will shut down and there will be some problems to overcome. It is very important to understand and/or clarify an issue that has come to light.

This movement is not called “Peach for Teach,” it is “Red for Ed.” This is about our educational system. Some in the community have said it’s just about a whiny bunch of teachers wanting a raise — hence the comment “Peach for Teach” — it is about our crumbling schools, out of date and falling apart text books, 40 students in a class meant for 25, low or frozen staff and teacher pay, and so much more. It is about all education funding.

Many school districts have come out supporting this movement. Some are saying that they will be closed. Some are trying to have a few schools open. SUSD has not come out with a true statement or action plan. Instead, the principals of each school has been directed to ask each teacher “individually” if they were going to walk out. The district has stated that, Tuesday at noon they will release what is going to happen and if any schools are staying open.

With that being said, we at the Parent Council are planning on the teachers and staff walk and that there will be a shutdown of SUSD.

With hours after hours and more hours on the phone with different community leaders Saturday and Sunday, I can proudly say the community has come together to support those who will be most adversely affected by school closures. We are standing together to make sure the students that only get food at school will be fed. To make sure that families that don’t have a safe place for their kids to go, have a place.

I cannot say enough praise about the parents, staff, administrators, and community members that have come together and offered help.

First off, I want to say thank you to all of the communities that have begun food drives. They are gathering breakfast and lunch items like cereal, breakfast bars, granola bars, bread, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, goldfish, and juice boxes. The schools paired together are as follows:

  • Pueblo and Echo Canyon
  • Cheyenne and Hohokam
  • Copper Ridge and Navajo
  • Kiva and Pima
  • Anasazi/Mountainside and Redfield
  • Desert Canyon Elementary/Middle and Tavan
  • Cocopah and Tonalea
  • Cherokee and Yavapai
  • Hopi and Ingleside (who both have Title 1 kids) will food drive for their own schools
  • We are still in need for a partner for Coronado

It is very important to know that I have been in touch with community specialists, administrators, and teachers who know their communities and who are the most in need. Those families identified will be the ones receiving the food aid.

Secondly, there are three churches who have agreed to open their doors to the families who can’t be home with their students due to work. These churches do need food and staffing for the days the schools are closed.

Anyone who is “chaperon-certified” is highly encouraged to lend a hand. Please call the churches directly to volunteer. Those churches are:

  • First Baptist Church of Scottsdale at 7025 E. Osborn Road. Call 480-945-6346.
  • Scottsdale United Methodist Church at 4140 N. Miller Road. Call 480-941-3497.
  • Sheppard of the Hills at 5524 E Lafayette Blvd. in Phoenix. Call 602-840-3130.

Third, the Boys & Girls Clubs has also said that they would be open to help with students. They are asking $35 a day as I was told, so please call them to confirm cost and availability.

Honor Health has been contacted in regards to those of you that have special needs students. There are people working to get a place for you to bring your students too. We do not know yet how or if they will be able to help, but it is something they are addressing.

The Scottsdale Charros have been contacted to see if they could help offsetting some of the costs for the Boys and Girls Club. As soon as we have an answer, we will email out what is being done. The fact that these two organizations are trying to help speaks volumes to the level that people want to help.

I would like to also add that, there are a lot of SUSD Teachers that are living paycheck to paycheck. Single parents that can’t afford to walkout, but will to support the movement for better education.

They too will be in need of food and safe places for their kids to go. Please keep them in your thoughts and hearts when donating food and time. If you know of any of these people, please talk with them and see what they need. It takes a village to raise a child, and it will take the community together to help our teachers and the educational system.

If you have any questions or can help in any way, please call me at 480-330-3030 or email me at president@scottsdaleparentcouncil.org or mp2@cxo.net. Any and all help is welcomed. For all the educational professionals reading this, I have never been a teacher and writing was never my strongest suit, so please don’t redline this paper and return it to me with a bad grade.

Seriously though, thank you! For all that you do for SUSD and our kids. Good luck with the walkout and know that there are so many people standing with you, believing in you, loving you.

Editor’s note: Mr. Peabody is the Scottsdale Parent Council President

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.