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'Stressful on the kids' | Pike Township parents concerned after another day of remote learning

Deb Dunlevy said her kids and others are getting stuck in the middle of a dispute over pay and they're also being affected by teachers calling in sick.

INDIANAPOLIS — UPDATE: Students at Central Elementary School are learning remotely Wednesday, Dec. 1 due to staff absences.

The parking lots at four Pike Township schools were mostly empty Tuesday, as the schools' students learned from home. 

The district said it made the switch to e-learning because too many teachers were absent. 

It's not the first time this has happened.

Several times this school year, a flood of sick calls have prompted e-learning and canceled classes.

Currently, teachers, the teacher's union, and the district are battling over a new teacher contract.

RELATED: Pike Township teachers, parents concerned as contract negotiations drag on

Deb Dunlevy's kids attend schools within the district. Tuesday was yet another day her children spent at home after in-person classes were canceled. 

"It's very stressful on the kids. Especially as we are coming into the end of the semester for my high schoolers," said Dunlevy.

Credit: WTHR

Dunlevy was a member of the district's equity council, which focuses on moving the township toward more equitable practices for students who need it most.

Dunlevy resigned from the council on Monday. She said it's because of the possibility of teachers on the council leaving Pike Schools for better-paying jobs. 

The teacher's union and the township are in mediation over pay.

"These staff members are all vital. Without taking care of these people, we don't have a chance of equitably taking care of our children," said Dunlevy.

RELATED: Pike Township teachers getting close to collective bargaining deadline, yet to reach agreement

Dunlevy said it was a tough decision because students are not only stuck in the middle of the dispute, but they are also affected by teachers calling in sick.

"It's the kids who are home unsupervised. It's the kids who were struggling or on the line between passing or failing and now are not getting the critical in-person instruction that they need. It's the kids that don't have food at home and were counting on eating at school. It's all those kids we are really concerned about in this situation. It becomes unsafe," she said.

At this point, Dunlevy doesn't have any plans to pull her kids out of the school district. However, she is asking the district to resolve this conflict immediately.

"We are leaving teachers in impossible situations. Impossible situations are what leaves our kids in situations of not being treated fairly," said Dunlevy.