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Federal Way Education Association member Yusuf Saadat spent Presidents’ Day in Olympia lobbying legislators about school safety, education funding and resources for students.
“It’s kind of cliché, but it’s all about the students in the classroom,” Saddat explained before meeting with Sen. Claire Wilson. “I care about the kids. I’m just doing my part by being here. I wanted to do something that makes the most possible impact.”
Saddat, a second-year teacher, teaches English/language arts and US History at Lakota Middle School. He joined around 100 other WEA union members in the state capitol for WEA’s annual Member Lobby Day. Earlier in the morning, they delivered copies of the WEA and Class Size Counts Petition for Healthy Students and Safe Schools to Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, who presides over the state Senate.
More than 2,000 educators and school supporters signed the petition, which reads, “As students, teachers, paraeducators, education support professionals, parents and/or community members, we believe students have a fundamental right to be healthy and safe at school.
“We believe all students deserve the individual help, support and resources they need to be successful in the classroom and in the community. Healthy students and safe schools must be a top priority in the state's education budget, both for K-12 and higher education.
“We urge the Washington Legislature and Gov. Inslee to fund additional school counselors, psychologists, social workers, nurses, therapists and other mental health services for all public school students in every school, beginning in the 2019-20 school year.”
Throughout the day Monday, WEA members from across the state met with their legislators to share how decisions in Olympia affect students. School safety is one of WEA’s top legislative priorities this year.