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9 L.A. teachers to go on hunger strike to protest layoffs

May 27, 2009 | 11:15 am

A group of teachers and community activists plans to start a hunger strike today in protest of the Los Angeles Unified School District's plan to lay off thousands of teachers.

At least nine teachers and two activists will participate in the action, said Sean Leys, a Lincoln High School teacher who will take part in the fast.

Leys says the group is demanding a new budget from the district that will not include layoffs or class-size increases. It also wants the district use part of its federal stimulus money to avoid budget cuts.

Leys said the hunger strike will continue "until the layoffs happen or a new budget is released." The teachers will work in their classrooms this week but "past that, we won't be able to continue," Leys said.

Participants plan to announce the hunger strike at 4:30 today outside Evelyn Thurman Gratts Elementary School near downtown L.A. At least 100 other teachers are considering joining the strike, Leys said.

A rally supporting the hunger strikers is planned for Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Centro Cultural Francisco Villa at 2100 Maple Ave. near downtown.

--Ruben Vives

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