I-Team 8

Pike HS student on school district negotiations: ‘We’re all tired of it’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Pike High School student Raul Lopez Sanchez says having to go back and forth between in-person to remote learning is forcing his education to suffer and exhausting many of his peers.

“I don’t blame (other students) for sleeping in because I’ve done it before,” Sanchez said Thursday. “Because we’re all tired of it.”  

Sanchez for a while didn’t have a math textbook to take home with him. He pointed this out at a Pike Township School Board meeting last week as a sign that the Metropolitan School District of Pike Township needs to pay teachers and bus drivers so the focus can go back to students. Sanchez says most of his peers oftentimes won’t show up for virtual classes.

“If five kids show up, you’re only five of them are getting education,” he said. When “we go back in-person, we have to redo all (the learning) again. So, we lose time by having those type of situations.”

He tells I-Team 8 that when students have been back in the building there have been days where they all had to study in the cafeteria because there weren’t enough teachers to cover all the classes.

“We are diverted to the school cafeterias and we are to stay there and if we have an assignment that was posted, we do that, but if not, we’re just there, just sitting.”

Sanchez told the school board at last week’s meeting that “teachers deserve more pay.” However, for the last two months the district has been unable to reach a deal with the teachers’ association or the bus drivers.

Sanchez says in addition to teachers and bus drivers deciding to leave the district, students, including himself, have thought about leaving, too.

“I don’t want to leave Pike,” he said. “It’s just not playing fair. I feel like (the district) needs to do a better job.”

Pike Township Superintendent Flora Reichanadter said in a Facebook post Wednesday night that the district’s administrators “are working very hard to resolve the outstanding issues.” I-Team 8 has reached out multiple times to the superintendent’s office and school board members but has not heard back.