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Friday

April 2014

18

Oconomowoc students react to news of teacher layoffs

Oconomowoc High School students wore shirts to school Friday with the message "We love our teachers" after news that 15 teachers received layoff notices this week.

While the district is not talking about the impending layoffs, news of the firings broke after the teachers were informed earlier this week. OHS students Julia Luebke, Calum Bedborough, Emily Huffaker and Lauren Boritzke have also organized a Facebook group, OHS Solidarity.

"This is the official Facebook group for the OHS Solidarity movement, in support of the 15 amazing teachers who have been cut from their positions for the coming school year.

"This group exists solely for the purpose of coming together as a student body to give back to the teachers who have given us all so much of themselves over the years," reads the page created by students. They continue to say they've created the page in an effort to get the correct information out to the community and dispel rumors.

The Facebook group created Wednesday has more than 2,000 members.

Luebke and Bedborough plan to address the School Board at its meeting Tuesday. While the school community's response may be emotional, Luebke said the group is not an effort to protest or run a political agenda. It's solely about supporting the teachers who will lose their jobs, she said.

"We are not protesting, and we're not being critical of our administration. We know this was a tough decision for them, too," Luebke said.

She said the students on Friday had been giving the teachers who will be cut hugs and "words of encouragement."

"Aside from our parents, our teachers are probably the biggest part of our lives. So we're not just losing our teachers, we're losing our family," Luebke said.

Watch for more on this story as it develops.

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