10 Teachers Laid Off in Oregon School District

About 80 students were planning an all day sit-in at Oregon High School, but when administrators gave them a choice to either get back to class or leave, that's when they began their march.

Students say they are upset that two of their high school teachers, Samantha Wright and Candace Humphrey, are being laid off.

Superintendent Dr. Bill Mattingly says it's part of ten total teacher lay offs in the district. He says the state budget mess is partially to blame but also a decrease in enrollment. Over the past five years school enrollment has dropped by about 14%.

Dr. Mattingly says no school wants to lay off teachers but it has to be done to keep the budget in check.

But one teacher who was let go says she feels it was not a budget issue, that she was targeted.

Candace Humphrey, a Business teacher with Dist. 220 for the last three years says,"The principal started giving out evaluations and one of them, in writing, he wrote that I was a detriment to these students and the school; I would never cause harm to these students."

Superintendent Mattingly says, "It's heart-wrenching, people invest a major portion of their life preparing to come in to what we would like to think is one the noblest professions there is, and then because of economic ramifications, their life is affected."

Because of the layoffs, the number of kids in each classroom is expected to increase from about 18-22 students to about 25 students a class.

Superintendent Mattingly says if the financial situation does not improve next year, more layoffs may be necessary. They would also consider cutting some programs.

Students say they may plan another walk-out tomorrow.

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