Parents, students angry over loss of electives AT Boca Raton Middle School

Middle school parents are furious in Boca Raton after their kids' favorite periods of the school day are being canceled for next year.

Early this the school year, teachers at Boca Middle School voted to create an elective period at the end of the day.
But teachers filed a complaint over pay - and now students say their reason for coming to school is gone.
Whether they're learning to sing, or dissect body parts, or doing community service, the last period of the day has become their favorite.
"Just going in playing these small ensembles with my friends makes me so happy," said Austin Bremer, an eighth grader at Boca Middle School.
"Those are the reasons I want to go to school," said Natalie Karrh, a sixth grader.
But several teachers filed a grievance with the union because middle school teachers are supposed to be paid by the period, and seven is more than six.
Boca Middle parents rallied during dismissal today after word came that the seventh period electives are being canceled.
"The kids need these programs for self esteem and just to work the other side of the brain. They're taxed all day, studying for FCAT," said Natalie Karrh's mother, Lyda.
The district found the teachers' claims unfounded, but they told us today that Boca Middle's seventh period doesn't work because "Program changes have to be standard throughout all middle schools, and that it would cost more than $9 million, which is simply not available.
"They're taking away from our children," said  They're taking away the things that are making them grow through education," said Austin Bremer's mother, Kim.
If the grievance doesn't get resolved, students say school would get monotonous.
"You'd just have simple reading, math, science," said Bremer.
"I wouldn't be so excited to come to school," said Karrh.
The union did not respond to our request for comment.
A school board member says he supports the seven-period day and that everyone should get to the table and figure out how to make it happen next year.