PORTLAND – Teachers in Portland are set to strike Feb. 20 if a contract deal isn't reached soon with Portland Public Schools. If teachers walk out, many student athletes won't be allowed to finish their winter season.
Varsity teams will be allowed to finish their winter seasons, but under very different leadership. Teaching coaches would no longer call the shots.
The season would be over completely for freshman and junior varsity teams.
“If you're a teacher and work in the schools you're not going to be able to coach,” said Lori Bennett whose son plays JV basketball at Madison High School “It's like he gets up at 5:30 in the morning to go to practice as it is, which is really tough and to just have the season end with no follow up. This is it, over.”
Varsity sports will continue with replacement coaches, and on Friday athletic director Marshal Haskins filed the paperwork with the Oregon School Activities Association to become a coach.
“I can go coach the Madison team now but I don't know the players, and what we worked on and have the kids be comfortable in such an important time is going to be really hard thing to do,” Haskins said.
Striking coaches would also be banned from even attending games on school property.
“They're going into the playoffs most likely and he doesn't get to be with these kids. He worries about them,” Bennett said.
According to the district, some progress was made in the contract negotiations Thursday. The teachers union presented a new mediation proposal to the district. The district will respond with its own proposal Sunday.
KGW reporter Katherine Cook contributed to this report.