At 5 a.m. March 10, cell phone screens across Saint Paul woke sleeping families with the message that school was cancelled for the day.

The texts read, “All St. Paul Public Schools and activities are canceled TODAY, due to a Saint Paul Federation of Educators union strike.”

On March 12, schools and activities remained cancelled. The educators demand more support: mental health support in each building, more multilingual teachers, and more special education support. The administration was uncertain how to fund added support.

On March 13, the parties reached a tentative settlement. The teachers’ union said it had achieved some gains and wanted to terminate their walkout, in part, due to complications with the burgeoning COVID-19 crisis.

Photos and text by Sarah CR Clark.

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