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Technology Middle School students walk out of class to support striking Cotati-Rohnert Park teachers

At 8:40 a.m. Friday, the second day of a teacher strike in the Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District, about 50 students at Technology Middle School walked out of their classes and joined their teachers and classroom aides on the picket line tracing Burton Avenue.

It was the second day they had done so as part of a districtwide strike, and students headed straight for the sign-making supplies, writing slogans on pieces of paperboard and hugging their teachers.

"I think it's kind of lame how they have to do this," said Isadora McKenna-McKee, a sixth-grader. Within a few minutes, she had already finished two signs, including one that said "Babysitters make more."

"Most of my family are teachers," she said. "They work a lot harder than they should."

Principal Sara McKenna, Isadora's mother, a teacher and another administrator remained outside, supervising the students to make sure they were safe.

Ben Mesches, site rep for the Rohnert Park Cotati Educators Association and a band teacher at the middle school, said it gave the teachers a boost of energy to see the school's students support them.

"They're not dumb," he said of the students. "They see these things happening. And Gen Z, they do ask a lot of questions. This isn't the last time that you'll see these kids out in the streets standing up for what they believe in."

Staff Writer Alana Minkler contributed to this story.

You can reach Staff Writer Kaylee Tornay at 707-521-5250 or kaylee.tornay@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @ka_tornay.

Kaylee Tornay

Education, The Press Democrat

Learning is a transformative experience. Beyond that, it’s a right, under the law, for every child in this country. But we also look to local schools to do much more than teach children; they are tasked with feeding them, socializing them and offering skills in leadership and civics. My job is to help you make sense of K-12 education in Sonoma County and beyond.  

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