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Arizona Superintendent Of Public Instruction Diane Douglas: Teacher Strike Is 'Shameful'

Diane Douglas
Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
Diane Douglas

Arizona’s top public schools leader calls Thursday’s planned teacher strike "shameful."

“I implore the teachers of Arizona not to do this and not to hurt our children and our families,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas at an Arizona State Board of Education meeting Monday.

Douglas said she has advocated for more teacher pay, but does not support Thursday’s walkout.

“In my opinion a strike is absolutely the wrong way to achieve this goal,” Douglas said.  

She added that special needs students and low-income families will be negatively affected if schools close.  

“The damage that can be done may be irreparable and in my opinion, that’s shameful.”

RELATED: Food Available From 500 Sites During Arizona Teacher Strike

Douglas went on to say state law pertaining to teachers' unexpected resignation might apply to educators who walk out.

Individuals could also file a complaint against a teacher who strikes to the state education department.

Arizona’s attorney general last issued a legal opinion on teacher strikes in 1971.

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Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.