Veterans Junior High School is closed today after 59 of 91 teachers called out sick. It is the second Warwick school to close in less than a week due to a high volume of teachers calling out sick, after Pilgrim High School was closed last Friday.
Superintendent Philip Thornton issued the following statement this morning:
"Veterans Junior High School is closed today, Wednesday, October 11, 2017.
The number of faculty absences has risen to a level that we can not safely open the school. Due to this, we made the decision to cancel school at Vets.
The most important element of school is having the regular classroom teacher working with students each and every day. A teacher "sick-out" like the one we experienced Friday and again today hurts students and does nothing to bring the two sides closer together to resolve the contract."
The closing comes the morning after the most recent school committee meeting on Oct. 10, where the increasingly rising tensions and frustrations were readily apparant as teachers lined the hallways of Toll Gate High School and rained chants of "What do we want? Contract. When do we want it? Now!" as administrators filed into the auditorium.
Warwick Teachers' Union president Darlene Netcoh once again denied that the string of teachers calling out sick was a union-led initiative.