First Los Angeles teachers’ strike in 30 years starts soggy, in the rain


Los Angeles teachers went on strike Monday morning for the first time in 30 years and found themselves immediately picketing in the rain — with more downpours scheduled all week.

In a dry climate, you’d have to call that bad luck.

But it didn’t seem to dampen teachers’ enthusiasm.

They wore ponchos and held laminated signs and braced themselves for a long, cold first day.

At Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts in downtown L.A., about a dozen picketers had gathered by 7 a.m., despite a steady drizzle. “Eye of the Tiger” blasted from a speaker. One picketer thumped on a drum and a passing driver honked to his beat.


Kelsey Cushing, 35, a chemistry teacher and chapter chair of the strike at the school, said she was expecting a couple hundred strikers at the location.

“What we’re fighting for is pretty important,” she said, “so people are willing to come out in the rain.”

At John Marshall High School in Los Feliz, teachers union President Alex Caputo-Pearl arrived to join the picket line in a red poncho before he held a news conference at the site.

Outside Elizabeth Learning Center in Cudahy, picketers at one of three entrances to the school wore red rain jackets or ponchos and rain boots and carried colorful umbrellas. About a dozen picketers chanted outside the school’s main entrance.

Cars whizzed by with drivers honking in support.

The National Weather Service predicted moderate showers through Tuesday morning with up to one inch of rain, and storms continuing throughout the week.