BUTTE (AP) — Public school students in Butte were out of classes for a second day Thursday as 15 union administrators continued a strike that threatened Butte High School's participation in several varsity sporting events this weekend.
The board of trustees held an emergency meeting Wednesday evening and discussed how it might deny a request by striking administrators to take personal leave Wednesday through Friday so they could be paid despite being on strike over salary negotiations.
Contract talks broke down Tuesday and the administrators went on strike. Teachers who also are members of the Teamsters Local No. 2 said they would not cross picket lines and the public schools were closed.
District spokesman and attorney Pat Fleming said Wednesday he believes the district and the union could reach an agreement through mediation.
"I think they are bypassing a necessary step," Fleming said.
He added that some people outside the school district were considering asking a judge for an injunction that could end the strike.
Keith Miller, union spokesman and East Middle School assistant principal, said going on strike was "a last resort."
"We're hopeful to come back to work as soon as possible," Miller said.
Butte defensive end Cody Carriger asked the trustees Wednesday to do everything in their power so that the football team could play its scheduled game against Missoula Hellgate on Friday.
"I'm begging you," he said. "Please let us play."
The Butte High School golf team had been scheduled to play in the Bozeman Invitational on Thursday. The soccer teams have games scheduled Friday and Saturday and the volleyball team planned to compete in a tournament in Great Falls over the weekend.
As of Wednesday night, the Bulldogs' participation in those events was canceled.
The Montana High School Association said Butte would have to forfeit any sporting events it does not compete in unless the opposing team agrees to reschedule.