Student attendance plummeted as strike entered fifth day

Shannon Sullivan

As the teachers’ strike entered its fifth day, student attendance at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School continued to plummet.

While the remaining staff is prepared to accommodate full attendance by splitting students into groups, the current amount of students who continue to show up has been extremely minuscule. There have been enough students since Wednesday to easily fit into science teacher Stephen Schaffter’s room, and there’s still plenty of empty seats to spare.

“If we’re not learning anything and the teachers aren’t teaching us anything, then there’s no point in going to school,” senior Quiser Nasir said.

Like some students, he attended school on Monday to see the new environment and came again on Friday, but opted to skip the other three days.

With only about 28 students attending school on Thursday, the number dropped down to somewhere around 23 on Friday. And as most students are being picked up early by their parents throughout each school day, the number of students in attendance is significantly lower by the end of the day.

Many students don’t see the point of attending as two out of the three class switches typically show movies, and if they assigned work it can’t be graded. Since their absences during the strike won’t affect their attendance record, it aids students in their decision to stay home. The average number of student attendance drops by about half every day.

A substitute teacher came in on the third day to help watch over students, which gave Principal Deb Smith the time to work on other school-related duties. Aside from that and the dwindling number of students, not much has changed the rotation of classes.

According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, they have lost about $97 million due to the student absences during the teachers’ strike. Only 83,928 students out of over 600,00 showed up to school on Friday.

“By not going to school, I’m supporting the teachers,” sophomore Ariana Islam said, who only came in on Monday and stayed home for the remainder of the week. “My parents are for the strike and they also don’t want me to attend school because of the decrease in supervision.”