- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2008

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. | A group of Stafford County teachers took an unusual approach to showing there displeasure about not getting a cost-of-living raise.

The 13 teachers Monday rode their bicycles across Northern Virginia, with a “victory lap” around Ferry Farm Elementary School.

Ferry Farm Principal Ann Lewis said the move was a “positive and visual statement.”

Janice Brunson, a reading specialist at Ferry Farm said she and other members of the group were “making our own cost-of-living adjustments.”

The commute began at Hurkamp Park in Fredericksburg, then continued to Stafford. Teachers biked along Mount Vernon Street, where those who live near the school joined the pack.

They ended at Ferry Farm and pedaled around the bus loading circle three times.

Some of the teachers say they may continue doing this as long as gas prices remain high.

Mrs. Brunson said the protest was “fun and environmentally friendly” and did not scare the young students.

“This way, the children aren’t hurt,” she said. “It’s all about them, after all.”

Mrs. Lewis, Ferry Farm principal for nine years, said she supports her teachers.

“They are very hardworking,” she said.

Some members of the Stafford Education Association recently implemented “work to the rule,” which has teachers work only the hours required by their contract. They don’t do extra activities such as tutoring students.

Three children of teachers also joined in the protest ride. Third-grader Ellie Hall and kindergartner Christopher Hall rode in with their mother, Della Hall, who works in the reading center.

They said they had fun and that it wasn’t very hard.

Mrs. Brunson and teacher Caren Kutch organized the event.

Mrs. Kutch checked to see whether FREDericksburg Regional Transit will come to Ferry Farm before school starts, but it doesn’t drop off there until 10 a.m.

“We’re looking at all the possibilities,” she said.

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