Willard Middle School students also took part in the March 4 Day of Action—some joining the march and others cheering from the school balcony.
As the protesters approached the Willard campus, the middle schoolers broke into applause, jumping up and down in excitement.
A small group ran out to hug their friends, who took part in the rally with permission from their parents, Willard teacher Sharon Arthur said.
“Some teachers took their students on field trips so that they could witness the march,” said Arthur, who teaches sixth grade English and history. “We support the Day of Action. But we teachers can’t leave because of our contracts.”
The Berkeley Federation of Teachers held their own rally outside the Berkeley Unified School District headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Way Thursday, raising awareness about the cuts.
BFT President Cathy Campbell said the union had wanted to do something more “family oriented,” so that the parent and teacher community could stay in Berkeley.
“The kids are pretty juiced up,” Arthur said. “They know what’s going on, they are Berkeley kids. Teachers from the 70s remember what it was like when Prop 13 changed our lives. It’s not a spending issue, it’s a revenue issue.”