NAMPA, Idaho (KBOI) - It may be summer break, but teachers in the Nampa School District aren't slowing down. A group met to tailgate before Tuesday evening's Nampa Schools Board Meeting.
Nampa Education Association President Mandy Simpson estimates that about 60 people came to tailgate. And they weren't only teachers. Parents and community members who are concerned about the district's negotiations also attended.
"We just wanted to get the community out and get them involved," Simpson said, "We know they want to be involved in this process, so we thought we'd do a fun tailgating summertime activity."
Former Nampa High School teacher Bonnie Richardson agrees.
"That's why a lot of people are here tonight," she said, "To communicate to the board that we do care. It's the middle of the summer. People are busy in their lives. But we do care about what happens to our students."
Richardson worked for Nampa Schools for 19 years. She and five other Nampa High English teachers just quit their jobs. She says that's because the past year was very hard for them.
"Teachers were doing their own job and the jobs of a lot of other people as well," she said.
But the former Nampa High School teacher says she still wants to see the district succeed for the students' sake.
"We love those kids, and we want them to be okay," she said.
She told KBOI 2News that after this evening's tailgate, she feels hopeful that the district and teachers will reach a compromise.
The negotiation deadline was June 30, but more negotiation meetings are set for July 18 and 24.
According to the Idaho Press Tribune, the Nampa School District has lost 18 percent of its teachers. That's 151 people.