"Why couldn't teachers strike in the summer time? Daryl Bryant, 14, asked Gwendolyn Morgan yesterday ad Morgan prepared to teach English for the first time in four weeks.
"We would have liked to," answered Morgan, a Rabaut Junior High teacher. "But in a strike situation, the objective is to make someone think about services that are lost during a period of time. If we strike in summer, then well, I don't know how to say this. . . "
"Then nobody gets hurt," interrupted Gina Greenwood, 14. Her peers nodded affirmatively. Bryant then concluded for the class of eithgy-graders, "We sure missed a lot while you were gone."
Teachers returned to school yesterday with less than three months remaining before the June 15 summer vacation is to begin. A frantic rush was under way to salvage what education they could.
Cramming began for 9the and 12th grade achievement, tests. Basketball games were rescheduled. Spring recitals were postponed and some events-as well as classes-were canceled.
"We missed our spring movie series," said Caroline Doong,13. "I want my money back."
Few teachers surveyed yesterday were able to simply pick up where students were dropped off on March 6, when the strike began. Many had a lot of explaining to do.
"Okay," Morgan conceded after learning that most of her students had left their textbooks in lockers. "I'll give you a few minutes to vent your frustrations."
"The children are suffering," exclaimed Pamela Clark,14. "The teachers are back with the same thing they left with-nothing. They got a long vacation. I wish you all had stayed out till Friday."
"Het outta here, girl," Morgan said.
"People keep saying that in the end this will help the students," Tatia Gildrap said. "How did this help us?"
"Good question," Morgan said.
"Maybe with the money we didn't get paid they will buy all some new books."
"We thought this thing was going to be fun-one or two days," said Kimberly Hayes. "You know, it got out of hand. Now our scores will be lower than in Maryland and Virginia, and people will think we are dumb."
Many of the teachers who returned to school yeserday said the strike had accomplished the intended goal. They had shown unityfor something they believed in, and in return got a contract, teachers agreed.
At Brightwood Elementary School at 13th and Nocholson streets NW, third graders ran to the door and hugged their teaches.
"It was such a beautiful feeling to know the children loved us," one teacher said. "It was worth being outside, though."
At Hine Junior High, at Seventh and C streets SE, returning teachers hugged nonstriking teachers, welcoming the "family" back together.
"Even though we didn't like people crossing the lines we're already laughing with them and really letting it be buried," said Coleman Allan, an English teacher at Hine.
Some Hine teachers, eager to get to their classrooms, were disappointed because the classroom wing of the building was still locked when they arrived. It had been unused during the strike because all classes were held either in the gym, cafeteria or multipurpose room.
Many schools were only half filled by students yesterday.
"I wish they had never gone on strike because now they're going to push that heavy work on us, especially seniors," said Dunbar 12th grader Regina Simmons,18.
"I'm glad they're back because this is my last yeard and I want to get it over with so I can graduate on time," said a second Dunbar senior, Robin Hart, 17.
Back at Rabaut, Morgan ended her first class just as it had begun-with strike talk.
"I was reluctant to come back, but I began thinking about you," she told students. "You all need to think about this because you all have been the center of it all."