On Wednesday. Lake Washington School District teachers held a walk-out rally in Marina Park to protest the state legislature's lack of support to fund schools in Washington State. The rally attracted hundreds of peaceful, frustrated and cheering teacher/protesters to the heart of downtown following an impressive show filling Kirkland's three I-405 pedestrian overpasses earlier in the morning. Wearing red shirts reading "It's Time To Fund Our Schools" and holding placards attacking the legislature and Sen. Andy Hill in particular. Other signs called for more funding from the legislature.
Also in attendance were a handful of opposition protestors holding signs reading, "Go Back To Work", "Don't Use Our Kids As Pawns", and "Kids Should Be In School" but the two groups primarily ignored each other.
The union bussed in teachers to Heritage Park where they assembled and marched down to Marina Park under partly cloudy skies. The rally appeared to be well organized and seemed to run like clockwork.
Only time will tell if the controversial strategy of striking to get the attention of the legislature will prove successful, but as a rally, the event was filled with cheers, slogans and union songs played on the PA system. The spirit of the crowd was high and cheers of support rang out as various speakers came up to the mike. The most poignant moment came as a high school student told of his family's personal tragedy and that if it were not for the generous medical benefits provided by the school district, his working mother would not be able to support her three boys and her husband who is battling cancer.