Compton : Half of District's Teachers Absent Due to Sickout

About half of the 1,000 teachers in the Compton Unified School District were felled by the "blue flu" Wednesday in their continuing protest over the lack of a contract for this year or next.

"Somebody in practically every school was out," said Thurman C. Johnson, assistant superintendent. The district has 37 elementary, middle and secondary schools, and several preschools.

Since March, the teachers have held sporadic job actions, calling in sick for a day at one or more schools. This is the first time, however, that the job action was districtwide.

The Board of Education on Tuesday night voted to draft a measure saying the district will dock the pay of teachers who take part in the protests. The resolution is to be voted on next Tuesday.

Contract talks between the district and its teachers and all other employee groups have been stalled since last year. The district says it cannot afford to give any more than 6% pay raises. The teachers, the strongest of the employee groups, have insisted on more, pointing out that they are the lowest-paid teachers in Los Angeles County.

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