As Neshaminy School District teachers picketed in front of Pearl S. Buck Elementary School in Middletown on Monday, New Jersey Army National Guard Sergeant. 1st Class Shawna Frey, whose daughter attends the school, stood silently across the street in her military battle dress uniform holding a homemade sign that read, “What if we strike.”
Her reason is simple and her message is clear: “You don’t mess with my kid.”
“There are certain jobs where what you do should be more important than what you make. A soldier is one of them, and so is being an educator,” Frey said as a black mini-van honked as it drove by; the driver giving the servicewoman a thumbs up.
“They went to strike over greed and my daughter’s education is forced to suffer because of it,” Frey, who served in Iraq, said.
Many taxpayers Patch spoke with shared Frey’s point of view.
“I think what the teachers are doing is greedy and insulting to us - the taxpayers,” parent Tony Brillhart, of Langhorne, said. “We pay them to do a job, not walk in front of the schools with posters.”
“The teachers need to be reasonable – they’re making a very, very good salary,” Middletown resident Margret Piacentino said. “[The teachers] are making more than a lot of people who have been working for more years and have just as much education.”
Almost everyone agreed that they hoped the strike would end quickly and students could return to school.
“My son’s in high school, so it’s not that big of a deal, but I feel bad for the parents with little kids. They now need to scramble to find someone to care for the kids during the day,” Brillhart said.
Frey said the strike is unfair to the parents and students.
“I have to pay extra money for the daycare and now I’ll have to take extra time at night to teach her what she didn’t learn in school,” Frey said.
Not just parents are facing problems, Diane Brown, of Langhorne, watched her grandchildren play on the playground equipment at Mayors Playground and told Patch she is having trouble finding activities to keep the grand kids busy.
“I feel like it’s summer time all over again…and I’m not ready for it,” she said with a chuckle.